It’s final: Matthew will not run for governor of Texas. This is from The Texas Tribune:
Instead of running for office, McConaughey said he would continue to support “entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders” and “creating pathways for people to succeed in life.”
The video is worth watching. I have never seen a potential candidate announce a decision like this before. He spoke eloquently of personal responsibility. In the end, Mr. McConaughey understood the reality that he was not ready for a campaign about issues. I’m glad that he is not running.
What does it mean for Mr. O’Rourke and Governor Abbott?
The Governor is sitting on a 9-point lead in the latest poll and a huge reelection bank account. He does have a couple of challengers from the right, Allan West and Don Huffines. I don’t think that these two will keep the Governor below 50% in the primary but Mr. Huffines is spending a lot of money on commercials.
On the other hand, Mr. O’Rourke is obviously hearing about the GOP knocking on the door in South Texas. Like other Texas Democrats, Beto is hearing that the once blue border area is changing:
A lot of Democratic hopes are riding on O’Rourke this election cycle, but few may be more consequential to the party’s future in Texas than his ability to stave off a strong GOP offensive in South Texas. Emboldened by President Joe Biden’s underwhelming performance throughout the predominantly Hispanic region last year, Republicans have been pushing hard to make new inroads there, and O’Rourke faces an incumbent in Gov. Greg Abbott who has been working for years to win Hispanic voters.
But it is not just about halting the GOP’s post-2020 march in South Texas. O’Rourke, who is facing an uphill battle in the governor’s race, has ground to make up after his own less-than-stellar performance with voters there in 2018 when he ran for U.S. Senate — and turning out more Latino voters has long been key to Democratic hopes statewide.
O’Rourke has been candid about the problem. Days after the 2020 election, which cemented Republican dominance across Texas, he told supporters that the fact that the border region “has been ignored for years by the national party, and even many statewide Democratic candidates, hurt us badly.” Last week, he began his campaign for governor with a swing through the region, calling the early itinerary “very intentional” and vowing to return frequently.
Region ignored by party? Yes, there is some truth to that. It was a case of Democrats assuming that the border would always go blue. The real problem down south today is President Biden’s lawless madness at the border. It has turned loyal Democrats against a crazy policy that has nothing to do with immigration.
So the lineup is ready and let the campaigns sort of begin. The primary is ahead but the two finalists look set a month before Christmas.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).