Oh yes: Kid Rock 49, Debbie Stabenow 46
The bad news: We have now well and truly entered the era of the celebrity political candidate. Schwarzenegger could be ignored as an idiosyncrasy of California politics. Al Franken could be written off as the lucky winner of one of the tightest Senate elections in U.S. history in a blue-wave year. Trump could be dismissed as sui generis, a billionaire TV star who caught a populist wave just as it was starting to crest. But when “the pimp of the nation” is leading a Democratic incumbent in a battleground Senate race, there’s no going back. President Gary Busey is no longer out of the question.
The good news: Given the state of the Republican Party under Trump, adding Kid Rock to the Senate will raise the dignity of the GOP on average.
There’s more bad news, actually. For reasons known only to itself, Trafalgar apparently hasn’t released any crosstabs for this poll. How’s KR doing among independents? Is he making inroads among younger adults in Michigan, traditionally a Democratic demographic? Your guess is as good as mine. But there’s also more good news for Kid Rock fans. If “Trafalgar Group” rings a bell, that’s because they’re the same pollster that predicted Trump’s victory last fall with eerie accuracy and caught Karen Handel’s late surge in the Georgia special election in June. Last November, when every other pollster had Hillary winning Michigan by three to six points, Trafalgar dropped numbers in the final days of the race putting Trump ahead 48.5 to 46.8. He won the state by three-tenths of a point. They were the only pollster after mid-August to show him ahead there before he shocked the world on Election Night. There was reason to be skeptical of the other pollster that’s surveyed the Michigan Senate race so far, but don’t doubt Trafalgar on Michigan.
They also polled the primary. Dude:
That’s a 42-point lead over veteran, social conservative, and businessman John James. How often is a total novice practically guaranteed his party’s nomination in a contested Senate primary in a swing state? I’ve been telling myself that the “Kid Rock for Senate” thing is half publicity stunt, half earnest misdirection for a good cause (a voter-registration project, specifically). But, whether he meant it this way or not, it’s turned into a trial balloon and everything right now points towards him being a surefire primary winner and legit threat to Stabenow. Plus, I’ve learned my lesson after writing 20-30 “TRUMP WILL BE OUT BY NEXT MONTH” posts in summer 2015. The celebrities are coming and there’s no stoppin’ ’em, thanks to Trumpmania. American politics is a zombie movie now: You may take out a celebrity candidate here and there, but eventually their sheer numbers will overwhelm us.
One bit of advice for KR, should he choose to run. He should use the phrase “shattin’ in their pantaloons” at every opportunity on the trail, preferably as a catchphrase. It’s poetry.