When Kid Rock announced his campaign to become a United States Senator earlier this summer, many wrote off his candidacy as a cheap publicity stunt to sell merchandise and build up his brand, yet Kid Rock continues to maintain he is serious about taking on the incumbent Democrat and challenge Republican orthodoxy in Washington, D.C.
Since announcing his candidacy, Kid Rock – or Robert Ritchie, as he would likely appear on the ballot – has seen high poll numbers that show him beating Republicans and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow handily, developed a plan to register voters during his concerts, and has maintained that he would not have made the announcement if he were not intent on running and winning.
Most Republicans are starting to come around to the idea of Senator Kid Rock, even if we have to call him Senator Ritchie at the voting booth. However, the elites in the Republican Party remain skeptical.
“While most Republicans still believe a bid is unlikely, they are enticed by the prospect of a candidate with deep pockets and universal name identification.
‘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,’ said Robert Steele, the Republican national committeeman from Michigan.
‘If he were in the race, I think he would win. But I doubt we’ll see him in the race.'”
Republicans likely find stark parallels between Kid Rock and President Trump. Both can be described as bombastic rich patriots who have no need for special interests or campaign donations. Both routinely push back against the thought policing standards of political correctness. Both have a penchant for profanity, whether it is President Trump pledging to “bomb the shit out of ISIS,” or Kid Rock saying his candidacy has Democrats “shitting their pantaloons.”
The only people not on board are the GOP Elite.
“While the Republican party seems optimistic of Kid Rock’s chances in the race, many do not think he’ll get that far. Some are skeptical that he will receive a bid, others suspect that he’ll turn down a bid even if he gets it.
Katie Packer Beeson, a former deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney said, ‘I just don’t think he is all that interested in sitting down and having to understand all of that stuff.’ Beeson continues, ‘When you actually get down to the brass tacks of what the job of a U.S. senator is, does Bobby Ritchie want to be in D.C. every Monday through Thursday, working in the Capitol casting votes?'”
It remains to be seen whether the Republican Elites’ concerns are founded, or if this is another case of wishing someone who could turn the party’s internal politics on its head would just go away. If Kid Rock continues marching toward the Senate, there is likely not much Democrats could do to stand in his way, just like they couldn’t make President Trump go away by saying he wasn’t serious, calling him a buffoon, or insisting – in spite of zero evidence – that his campaign was crashing and burning.