Donald Trump’s’ victory was a major upset to the political establishment, opening up the doors for more political outsiders. With the 2018 midterms looming, singer-rapper Kid Rock has become one of the biggest potential contenders to capture public attention.
Kid Rock (real name Robert Ritchie) has not yet decided whether he will actually run. But as The Hill reports, Republican insiders are urging him to challenge Michigan’s incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
One of the individuals most hopeful about the prospect of a Kid Rock Senate bid is Robert Steele, Michigan’s Republican national committeeman. Steele says Kid Rock’s strong brand and name recognition would be major factors in the race.
“People know him — he’s an extremely strong brand in Michigan. He’s fought for Detroit; he’s fought hard for kids who want to go to his concerts, he’s fought hard for the working class, he’s a southeast Michigan booster through and through.”
However, Steele doubts Kid Rock will ultimately enter the race. He echoes the sentiments of Katie Packer Beeson, who served as deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. Packer Beeson asserts, “I just don’t think he is all that interested in sitting down and having to understand all of that stuff.”
According to the Huffington Post, even rocker Ted Nugent, a Republican Trump supporter, said, “Bob Ritchie ain’t running for jack squat,” urging the GOP to instead focus on another one of the three Republicans currently in the field.
Nevertheless, interested observers who would like to unseat the Democrat incumbent remain excited at the prospect of a Kid Rock candidacy, bolstered by recent polls. The numbers suggest the rocker-rapper has a better chance than any other Republican.
As seen at Real Clear Politics, a Target Insyght poll places Kid Rock just eight points behind Stabenow, which is good for this stage in the race and much better than how other Michigan Republicans are calculated to fare.
And a Trafalgar Group poll places the eccentric celebrity three points ahead of the sitting senator. George Pataki, former Republican governor of New York, emphasizes Kid Rock’s favorable prospects and explains why he believes the musician would do well despite an unconventional public life that includes multiple assault allegations.
“You look into his record, and you won’t see the pristine actions of a lawyer,” Pataki said. “But on the other hand, you’ll see someone who can capture the public’s imagination, who has drawn tremendous crowds with his entertainment, who has supported our troops and been supportive of the concept of limited government.”
Indeed, Kid Rock has performed numerous philanthropic acts throughout his career, most notably fundraisers for veterans and military families. This would potentially strengthen his credibility if he runs.
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the possible US Senate candidacy of Kid Rock. Do you believe Kid Rock personifies the “outsider” designation that propelled Donald Trump to Office?
Not only might Kid Rock be able to win in what has traditionally been considered a Democrat stronghold (albeit, one that Trump won in 2016 with his pro-manufacturing message), but, by making the race close, Kid Rock would force the DNC to draw resources they could use in other states.
In 2018, the Democrat Party will be defending ten seats in states Trump won last year. If the GOP can capture these, they will have unchallenged control of both houses of Congress, and President Trump will potentially have the support needed to accomplish his legislative agenda.