Running against an incumbent from the same party is a lonely place. You see, both parties view primary challenges against a sitting lawmaker as an unnecessary expenditure donor dollars and volunteer hours, that could be going into the general election to preserve the seat against the other side.
That’s the case in most areas. It’s also the case right here in Orlando. And that’s why former Illinois Congressman, Joe Walsh, won’t find any friends here in his GOP primary challenge against President Donald Trump.
Trump easily won Orange County in the 2016 primary, against a sitting Florida Senator, and a generally well liked, former Governor.
The President also kicked off his reelection campaign on the floor of the Amway Center in downtown Orlando.
This doesn’t just apply to Joe Walsh, but to anyone who signs on to volunteer for his campaign. That person would be considered radioactive by the rest of the state party and find themselves on the outside looking in on a lot of other matters.
The same thing would have happened on the Democratic side, had there been someone who decided to primary Barack Obama back in 2012.
Now, I say Joe Walsh won’t find friends in Orlando, but also don’t expect Donald Trump to win Orange County next year. The demographics are just moving too much in the opposite direction.
And I’ll also say, there are a lot of Republicans that don’t like some of the things Trump tweets. They won’t tell you this on the record, but the sentiment is out there.
But they’re not going to jump off the train for a longshot primary challenge over a Twitter account. Then there is the possibility Democrats nominate a far reaching progressive like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, that’s when everyone will certainly get off of the bench to protect the President.
Joe Walsh will get a post announcement bump, and possibly some more earned media, but the money will dry up and so will attendance at his events.
He’ll be sitting on an island with Bill Weld. Don’t know who that is?