kid Rock
Credit: Larry Philpot/Wikimedia Commons

I think I am a little relieved to see this:

Mocking people who took the idea seriously, Kid Rock said Tuesday morning he’s not running for U.S. Senate.

“F— no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me?” Rock said on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show. “Who couldn’t figure that out? I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour too. Are you f—ing sh–ing me?”

The thing about the Kid Rock for Senate trial balloon is that no one was really willing to predict that he wouldn’t win. Not anymore. Not after Trump became president.

I was looking for something in my archives yesterday and came across a piece I wrote on October 23rd, 2016 called Trump Voters are Depressed. It noted that Hillary Clinton was up 50-38 in the ABC News national tracking poll. That was a mere sixteen days before the election. Countless people had already voted.

Here are some of the highlights from that poll:

Vote preference results among some groups also are striking. Among them:

• Clinton leads Trump by 20 percentage points among women, 55-35 percent. She’s gained 12 points (and Trump’s lost 16) from mid-October among non-college-educated white women, some of whom initially seemed to rally to Trump after disclosure of the [Access Hollywood] videotape.

• Clinton has doubled her lead to 32 points, 62-30 percent, among college-educated white women, a group that’s particularly critical of his response to questions about his sexual conduct. (Seventy-six percent disapprove, 67 percent strongly.)

• That said, Clinton’s also ahead numerically (albeit not significantly) among men, 44-41 percent, a first in ABC News and ABC/Post polling.

• Trump is just +4 among whites overall, 47-43 percent, a group Mitt Romney won by 20 points in 2012. Broad success among whites is critical for any Republican candidate; nonwhites, a reliably Democratic group, favor Clinton by 54 points, 68-14 percent.

Even with the gender gap in candidate support, the results show damage to Trump across groups on the issue of his sexual conduct. While 71 percent of women disapprove of his handling of questions about his treatment of women, so do 67 percent of men. And 57 percent overall disapprove “strongly” – 60 percent of women, but also 52 percent of men. By partisan group, 41 percent of Republican likely voters disapprove of Trump on this question, a heavy loss in one’s own party. That grows to 70 percent of independents and nearly all Democrats, 92 percent.

Seeing these numbers was a reminder of why I did not think Trump had a chance to win. You could show me any poll numbers you liked about Kid Rock’s chances of unseating Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and I’d still remember what polls were worth in late-October 2016.

Maybe the Kid Rock thing was just a joke all along, but I’m still not convinced that he couldn’t become a U.S. Senator if he actually ran for the office.

If I try to identify any factor that would disqualify him in the eyes of the voters, I immediately realize that Kid Rock has less of a problem in that area than Donald Trump did.

And it’s almost rational. I have no doubt that Kid Rock would be a more credible and competent senator than Donald Trump is a president.

So, yeah, I’m comforted to know that Kid Rock isn’t going to put his name forward. I would have worried about that race nonstop even though the whole prospect sounds just ludicrous as Kid Rock just portrayed it.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at