'American Bad A**' singer Kid Rock moves closer to Michigan Senate bid as poll finds he has more backing than all other Republicans combined (but still trails Democrat who's in office)
- Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, has the support of 29 per cent of Republican voters in Michigan in a hypothetical Senate primary
- That's better than the three other most likely candidates – combined
- Ritchie still trails incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow but is already selling campaign merchandise
- But Michigan surprised the political world by going for Donald Trump last year
- The rock star went on a politically-tinged tirade this month during a Michigan concert
- 'F*** any mother**** who decides to disrespect the national anthem,' he said
Kid Rock's prospects to represent the GOP in next year's Michigan U.S. Senate race are looking up, according to new poll numbers.
Survey results from Zogby Analytics show he has the support of 29 per cent of Republicans in the state, more than all the other potential primary candidates combined.
The hard-charging rock singer hasn't yet announced he's running, but his recent concerts have turned into thinly veiled campaign events – and he's already selling 'Kid Rock for Senate' swag.
He has also set up an exploratory committee, the Washington Examiner reports.
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Kid Rock, shown performing Wednesday in Detroit, is leading the Republican Senate primary race in Michigan
The rock star, whose given name is Robert Ritchie, has more support among Michigan Republicans than all the other likely candidates combined
Despite a large 'undecided' contingent, 29 per cent support this early in the race – in a state where Donald Trump upended expectations last year – is a promising sign for him
Pollster Jonathan Zogby told the newspaper that Kid Rock, whose given name is Robert Ritchie, does expecially well among Republicans who supported President Donald Trump – another unconventional candidate – who stunned the political world by winning the typically Democratic-leaning state.
'[S]ince President Trump did the unthinkable and flipped Michigan from blue to red in the 2016 presidential election, someone like Ritchie has the potential to harness that populist rage and resonate with blue collar Democrats and union voters who turned to Trump. Voters also might be attracted to Ritchie's free spirit and "shoot from the hip" personality,' Zogby said.
It's early in the 2018 cycle, of course, and whether the 'All Summer Long' and 'American Bad Ass' singer will actually throw his hat into the ring.
And Michigan Rep. Fred Upton is encouraging speculation about whether he'll enter the fray.
'We're actively exploring' a Senate run, Upton told The Detroit News this week.
Kid Rock for US Senate graphics are showing up at his concerts and on campaign merchandise
Kid Rock, who has been a musical staple at past Republican National Conventions, earlier this month decried any 'motherf**ker who decides to disrespect the national anthem'
SPOILERS: Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow (left) would be a tough opponent for any Republican, and popular Republican Rep. Fred Upton (right) might decide to run
Upton is speaking this weekend at a statewide Republican gathering. The invitation to the event sports an 'Upton 2018!' logo.
A whopping 56 per cent of Republicans say they're undecided about who they want to run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Zogby's poll has Stabenow leading Ritchie by 10 percentage points.
The working class musician gave a Michigan audience a taste of what his Senate campaign may sound like a few weeks ago, mounting a vigorous defense of the national anthem using some choice four-letter words.
'F*** Colin Kaepernick,' he said of the NFL player who bends a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner as a protest against racism.
'And f*** any mother**** who decides to disrespect the national anthem.'
After playing just three songs, the rocker re-entered the Grand Rapids venue to 'Hail to the Chief' and was introduced to the crowd as 'the next senator from Michigan.'
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Kid Rock put out a statement in late July explaining how he was being talked about as a potential Senate candidate
'Kid' then went on a several-minute-long tirade about the KKK, Nazis and Black Lives Matter, versed more like a rap than a campaign speech.
'If you want to take a knee or sit during our Star-Spangled Banner, call me a racist cuz I'm not PC and think you have to remind me that Black Lives Matter,' he said, according to reporting from Mlive.com.
'Nazis, f***ing bigots and now again the KKK, screw all you a**holes, stay the f*** away,' Ritchie said.
He launched a campaign website and started selling merchandise, blasting those who suggested he was just doing it to make more money selling tees.
'I can tell you, I have no problem selling Kid Rock shirts and yes, I absolutely will use this media circus to sell/promote whatever I damn well please (many other politicians are doing the same thing, they just feed you a bunch of bulls**t about it),' he said as part of his introductory note.
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