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‘Kid Rock’ May Not Be Allowed on Michigan Ballot

Rock star Robert Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock, says he is considering a U.S. Senate bid, but his well-known stage name may be ineligible to appear on a Michigan ballot.

Should Ritchie submit enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, the Michigan Bureau of Elections would have to determine whether name “Kid Rock” would be allowed.

The answer to whether Ritchie can use the name by which the vast majority of Americans know him is not yet certain.

Michigan law, under the “Affidavit of Identity and Receipt of Filing,” lists various stipulations regarding the way a candidate can have his or her name on a ballot.

A candidate “may specify a name that constitutes a common law name in accordance with the Michigan Department of State guidelines” or “may specify that both his or her given name and middle name, or only a middle name, shall appear on the ballot,” for example.

However, the rules make clear that a candidate cannot use a “nickname that is not a recognized diminutive of the candidate’s given name.”

It Ritchie chooses to run, it’s not clear if he would even want to use the Kid Rock moniker in lieu of a more traditional campaign style.

Not using his stage name, either by choice or by Michigan law, would be a blow to the musician’s considerable name recognition.

Current polling shows a surprisingly close match-up between Ritchie and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the incumbent Democrat whom he would face in a general election.

Target-Insyght poll revealed Stabenow, a mainstay in Michigan politics, eading by only eight points.

A poll by the Trafalgar Group conducted July 25-27 showed Ritchie actually leading Stabenow 49 to 46 percent.

Ritchie also dominated in primary polling, leading every other hypothetical Republican contender by double digits.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a native of Michigan and a former Republican presidential nominee, used election rules to have his middle name placed on the 2012 ballot.

Many Americans are not even aware his first name is Millard.