Kid Rock took the stage at the Little Caesars Arena grand opening, Tuesday, Sept. 12. The decision to have Kid Rock was controversial because of his recent comments about the confederate flag and his ambitions to take on Senator Debbie Stabenow and become Michigan’s new Senator. What would a “Kid Rock for Senate Campaign” look like?
Kid Rock would undoubtedly -- if he does officially jump in -- be taking the lion’s share of Trump voters in Michigan and there are still plenty of them. His vulgar, no politically correct bull**** style and his grassroots planted firmly in Michigan would make him a near replica, if not better, example of a Trump style candidate in Michigan.
So the question isn’t so much how strong he might be, as that is perhaps the most predictable factor if he chooses to get in the race, but how strong Senator Stabenow might be.
At a glance, it is easy to assume that Senator Stabenow will fare in Michigan about as well as Hillary Clinton did in last year’s presidential election. The perception can easily be made that they are mirror images of each other as far as political appeal goes. Both women have been involved in politics for most of their lives. Stabenow was first elected to the Ingham County board of commissioners when she was 24-years-old. Stabenow has also held a seat in the statehouse of Representatives (1979- 1990) and State Senate (1991- 1994). She was elected to the United States Congress in 1996 and obtained her current post in 2000, becoming the first woman senator for the State of Michigan.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton became a very influential part of Bill Clinton’s time as Governor, as well as in the White House. Clinton has spent a much greater share of her time in the spotlight than Stabenow, for better or for worse. She was elected by large margins to the United States Senate in New York, ran for President in 2008, and became Secretary of State, all before her most recent presidential run.
Clinton and Stabenow have been painted as exactly the type of career politicians wanted out of political office under Trump’s “Drain the Swamp” campaign. The outcome of this election could very well mean life or death of President Trump’s agenda with the Senate and even his chances of re-election in 2020.
Before you come out and declare “Senator Robert J. Ritchie” ( Kid Rock’s actual name) there is one critical difference we have to look at.
As Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Radio stated in February regarding this election, “She works very hard, and politically, is very smart.” Every election year, perhaps since she first got into politics, the Republicans say quite optimistically that this time they are going to beat Stabenow.
Every time Stabenow won. In each of her elections to the United States Senate, her margin of victory increased. One could make the argument that she’s more popular in Michigan than Obama. As recorded by the Capital News Service, “She won 61 of 83 counties, according to the Secretary of State’s unofficial election results. Obama won 20 counties.” That was back in 2012. Stabenow has a strong connection with the agricultural and rural areas of this state, and both of those focuses lent themselves for Trump in 2016, it will take a lot for Kid Rock to unsettle that.
One cannot simply think that Debbie Stabenow will let herself lose this seat quietly. She has fought tooth and nail her entire life and she doesn’t suffer from the same sort of entitlement as the Clinton camp did.
Recently the Detroit Free Press came out with a poll showing Stabenow already beating Kid Rock 50-41. Now it is still very early, so it's impossible to predict how that will stack up. Kid Rock hasn’t even officially gotten into to the race yet. One thing is very clear though, this is a race that will need to be watched.
One thing is also clear, with these odds, there can be no underestimating these two candidates; it will all come down to the last hour of voting Nov. 6, 2018.
Now all we can do is watch and listen.