“Are you scared?”
Rock legend Robert James Ritchie became the latest in a long line of entertainers-turned-politicians last month when he announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate.
Ritchie, who goes by the professional name Kid Rock, will not only challenge an incumbent for the office, but will do so as a Republican challenging a Democrat in Michigan, a state that hasn’t seen a GOP U.S. senator for 16 years.
And it looks as though he’ll be phenomenally successful.
The problem for Republicans waging statewide campaigns in the Great Lake State is overcoming the huge Democratic voter bloc in its largest metropolitan area — Detroit.
Because of Detroit’s influence, before Spencer Abraham’s single term in the Senate from 1995 to 2001, the last Republican that Michigan voters sent to that chamber was Robert Griffin, whose term in office ended 38 years ago.
But Ritchie has a not-so-secret weapon to overcome this nearly insurmountable obstacle — he loves Detroit, and the Motor City loves him right back.
He was born and raised in Romeo, Michigan, a small township just to the north of Detroit, and has made Detroit his adopted home and has been making large donations to Detroit-area causes for years.
"One time he handed me checks for five or six organizations, and I think the largest check was for $50,000," said Karen Dumas, former spokeswoman for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, according to M-Live. "He just said, 'Here, Karen. Can you get these to them?’"
He also offers Motor City fans $20 a head concerts.
"But someone has to go out there and fight these high prices and change things up, and I'm lucky enough that I can afford to take a pay cut," he said of the cut-rate performances.
And now it’s paying off.
Robert Cahaly, senior strategist for the Trafalgar Group, a polling organization, predicts Richie will dominate the Republican primary field, picking up nearly 50 percent of the vote in a field where none of the other candidates will even see double-digits.
And in a general election against Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Trafalgar predicts Richie will pick up 48.6 percent of the vote to his opponent’s 46.09 percent.
So how accurate have Trafalgar and Cahaly been in the past? Last year when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was practicing her victory speech, they predicted President Donald Trump would win, taking 306 Electoral College votes. Trump took it with 304 votes.
Following his question “are you scared?” on his “Kid Rock for Senate” website, Richie said he’s paving the way for the race with a voter registration effort funded through a non-profit organization.
“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,” he said.
“We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America all while still calling out these jacka** lawyers who call themselves politicians.”
He added near the end, “One thing is for sure though…The democrats are 'sh**tin’ in their pantaloons' right now…and rightfully so!”
And that apparently includes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
"Kid Rock — yes, Kid Rock — tweeted that he's running for Senate in Michigan," the New York Democrat said in an email, according to CNN. "He even launched a Senate website operated by a record label. So, I'll be honest, we don't know if this is real, a joke, or a bizarre publicity stunt. But I'll tell you this: I don't find it funny."
Schumer’s party includes former comedian Sen. Al Franken. The Minnesota Democrat, who invented and performed the character Stuart Smalley for “Saturday Night Live,” is still considered something of a joke among many Republicans.
On the other hand Richie isn’t a jokester and he doesn’t appear to be joking. Rock on, Kid Rock.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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