Musician Robert James Ritchie (aka Kid Rock) left his fans, as well as political junkies, guessing Wednesday about whether he will actually run for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state of Michigan – something the artist teased in a series of tweets July 12.
In a statement released on his website, kidrock.com, the rocker announced a new initiative to create a “non-profit organization for the promotion of voter registration,” while he continues to explore the idea of challenging incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, in 2018.
“As part of the excitement surrounding this possible campaign, I decided to take a hard look to see if there was real support for me as a candidate and my message or if it was just because it was a fresh new news story,” Rock said. “The one thing I've seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it.”
“The one thing I've seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it.”
Rock added he will hold a news conference in roughly six weeks “to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me … it’s game on m***********.”
Stunt? Maybe not
Democrats, who were blindsided by Donald Trump’s presidential election upset, have been cautious about dismissing the prospect of a Rock candidacy as a publicity stunt.
“I know a lot of people are thinking: this is some sort of joke, right?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote in an email, the Boston Herald reported.
“Well,” she continued, “maybe this is all a joke — but we all thought Donald Trump was joking when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower and announced his campaign, too.”
Warren’s email links to a fundraising page for her own reelection campaign, as well as that of Stabenow.
Critics of Trump initially thought that revelations of his past, including vulgar talk in an “Access Hollywood” video with former NBC host Billy Bush, would be detrimental to his presidential campaign, but Trump’s victory in November proved them wrong.
Leading in polls
So, the idea of a rocker with a salacious past of assault and provocative comments, plus a partying persona, running for a Senate seat in a largely blue-collar state might not be that farfetched.
In fact, a mock poll by Delphi Analytica found Rock would defeat Stabenow by four points in the 2018 election.
Of the 688 Michigan residents polled, the majority were undecided at 44 percent. However, when asked to choose Rock or Stabenow, Rock won by 54 percent to 46 percent.
Wednesday’s announcement didn’t provide much clarity on whether Rock will actually run for Senate. But if he does run, Trump has already prepared the Democratic Party to expect the unexpected.