A senate map for 2018 that should be a boon for the Republican party slipped further into chaos when Minnesota front-runner and American Music Icon Kid Rock announced he was pulling out of the race. Citing the combative attitude in the Senate and the inability of Congressional Republicans to "move the ball forward" on issues such as taxes, immigration, border security, international relations, nuclear containment of Iran and North Korea, Russian sanctions, reduction of cronyism and corruption in DC, repealing and/or replacing Obamacare, appointing a qualified Secretary of Education, reduction in wasteful spending on air travel, disaster response to Puerto Rico, and ability to stay out of fruitless culture warring such as the NFL Kneeling drama, Kid Rock said he felt he could be more effective outside the beltway.
"Right now the CHIP--children's health insurance--has failed to be renewed by this congress and president Trump," Rock told reporters. "If we're so dysfunctional that we cannot maintain payments to keep our kids healthy, speaking as a kid myself, I don't see how we get our heads out of our asses without one of those super-cranes."
He also had harsh words for House Republicans who he saw as intransigent and beholden to their constituents.
"I understand the realities of representation," Rock said, "but let me tell you something these House Republicans from very safe districts will never say: sometimes our constituents are stupid. I have smoked, man, a lot of weed. I mean, like, a metric fuck-ton of weed--and I will tell you that when I was doing that, I was not the guy you wanted to base your fiscal policy on. You understand? I have millions of fans--and I love them--but just because someone feels really strongly about something doesn't mean they're right or even smart about it."
"Our Representatives need to stand up to their constituents and say 'We wanted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that would make insurance cheaper to buy--but the only way to do that was to either mean that people with pre-existing conditions get fucked--which most of you don't want--or we blow a hole in the Federal budget--which most of you will say you don't want--so we couldn't really do anything but make a lot of noise."
Rock paused. "I know things about making a LOT of noise--but I'm not really in to lying to my fans and that's all we've got today. That's all we've done for a decade."
Republican strategists were stunned by the pull-out: "Rock was not just dominant in Minnesota," said Erwin Flickwick, a GOP pollster with Echelon Data Services. "He--he could have--if it was permitted--simultaneously won in the Dakotas, Arizona, and maybe Florida. I believe the Constitution permits a single man from being a Senator from more than one state--but if it didn't? We could have a near majority of nothing but Rock."
With luminaries like Bob Corker and Jeff Flake retiring, the number of GOP incumbents has been reduced well below what a normal year would see for the given map.
"People were feeling inspired by Rock," said Ashley Turner, spokeswoman for the RNC. "There was a real feeling of hope that an outsider with no political or governance experience could come in and provide fresh fixes for our issues. It's a feeling we could monetize--fund raise on--and drive voter turn-out by having him make outlandish and offensive statements our voters now demand. The loss of Rock is a blow not just to the Republican party--but to America."
Republicans note that rumors that Democrats were in talks with Dwayne Johnson and Chris Rock had further sent tremors of fear through a race that should have never been this close to begin with.