John Mellencamp, the iconic rocker made famous by his songs about growing up in a small town, may be ready to move to the big city.

Speculation is swirling that the liberal Mellencamp may put down his guitar and run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh.

The Indiana Democrat announced Monday that he will not seek election to a third term in November, sending party leaders scrambling for a viable replacement and boosting Republican hopes of winning the seat. Indiana is generally considered a Republican state, though it went for Barack Obama in 2008.  

Support for a Mellencamp bid is gathering momentum; a "Draft John Mellencamp For Senate" Facebook page has emerged with more than 200 members.

Mellencamp is no stranger to politics or to Washington. He asked John McCain to stop using his music during the 2008 presidential campaign. He performed at President Obama's inauguration and has played at the White House, most recently last week at a celebration in honor of the civil rights movement.

He initially backed John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic primaries, then shifted his support to Obama after the former North Carolina senator bowed out.

Mellencamp has generated a lot of goodwill among potential voters with his participation in Farm Aid concerts. Among his  hits are "Small Town,""Jack and Diane," "Hurts So Good," and "Our Country." 

There's no rush for Mellencamp to announce his intentions. A May primary was scrapped after cafe owner Tamyra d'lppolito, the only Democrat seeking to run for the Senate seat, missed out on qualifying for the primary ballot by Tuesday's deadline.

The Democratic state central committee now has until June 30 to pick someone to replace Bayh on the ballot.

U.S. Reps. Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth are among the other names being floated. But so far, Mellencamp's name is drawing the most attention.

Mellencamp's publicist did not immediately return a message seeking comment.