Joe Walsh becomes second Republican primary challenger to Trump



Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 26, 2019: Joe Walsh announced that he is running for president. The Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer campaigns called for greater transparency in which polls are used for debate qualifications.

There are nine new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Green. In total, 832 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Day

“The problem for Walsh — or any other conservative challenger — is that Trump remains extremely popular with GOP voters. The president’s approval rating among Republicans hovers in the high 80s, and there’s little evidence that his popularity has much to do with his strict adherence to the conservative economic ideals that (supposedly) animated the Tea Party. Walsh may have been part of the Zeitgeist ten years ago, but as many Republicans who have crossed Trump and paid an electoral price can tell you, cutting spending is out and loyalty tests are in.”

– Benjamin Hart and Chas DannerNew York Magazine

“Walsh, a radio show host since losing reelection in 2012 and a frequent guest on cable news, could be effective in reaching rank-and-file Republicans, since he speaks their language. For example, Walsh was a Tea Party Republican when the Tea Party was known for championing lower federal budget deficits. In contrast, under Trump, the deficit is exploding, expected to hit $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year. Walsh may be able to pick off some fellow Tea Party Republicans on that issue alone.”

– Dean Obeidallah, CNN


  • The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday against holding a climate change-specific debate.
  • While Joe Biden campaigned in New Hampshire over the weekend, his wife, Jill, campaigned on his behalf in South Carolina.
  • Bill de Blasio expressed support for Medicare for All and mandatory gun buybacks during a town hall on CNN.
  • Cory Booker campaigned Sunday in Portland, Oregon, and will hold a happy hour event Monday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • In his town hall on CNN, Steve Bullock said he would not run for the U.S. Senate and discussed his opposition to Medicare for All.
  • Pete Buttigieg discussed electability and national security issues in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
  • John Delaney campaigned in New Hampshire on Saturday.
  • The Tulsi Gabbard campaign requested the Democratic National Committee revise the list of certified polling organizations used as debate qualifiers and make the criteria for poll selection more transparent. Tom Steyer made a similar request, calling for the DNC to include at least one poll from Nevada.
  • Kamala Harris spoke at the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People banquet in North Carolina.
  • Amy Klobuchar discussed tariffs, China, and Afghanistan in an interview on CBS News’ Face the Nation.
  • Beto O’Rourke will campaign in South Carolina Monday, including a stop at the College of Charleston.
  • While campaigning at the Minnesota State Fair Saturday, Bernie Sanders said he was running for president to defeat Trump and to combat economic inequality.
  • Joe Sestak continued to campaign in Iowa over the weekend. He has spent more than 60 days in Iowa since announcing his candidacy and plans to visit each of the state’s 99 counties at least twice.
  • Elizabeth Warren held a rally in Seattle, Washington. With an estimated 15,000 attendees, it was the largest crowd of her campaign so far.
  • Marianne Williamson campaigned in New Hampshire Sunday and Monday.
  • Andrew Yang will make a climate policy announcement in New Hampshire on Monday.


  • Donald Trump spent the weekend in Biarritz, France, attending the G7 summit.
  • Joe Walsh announced Sunday that he was launching a primary challenge to Trump. “I’m running because he’s unfit. Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” Walsh said in an interview on ABC News. 
  • Bill Weld campaigned in New Hampshire over the weekend. He said in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press that he was thrilled Walsh had entered the race.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 26, 2015

Hillary Clinton released her rural agenda, calling for public-private partnerships that would bring federal capital to rural areas and increasing the number of solar panels across the country to 500 million.