Depending on where you read, this has either never happened before or perhaps only occured once. The sitting House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, has lost his Republican primary to Dave Brat, an economics professor, in Virginia’s Seventh District.

Final Results:
55.55% – Dave Brat (36,110 votes)
44.45% – Eric Cantor (28,898 votes)

Report from the Associated Press:

In an upset for the ages, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-most powerful man in the House, was dethroned Tuesday by a little-known, tea party-backed Republican primary challenger carried to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.

“This is a miracle from God that just happened,” exulted David Brat, an economics professor, as his victory became clear in the congressional district around Virginia’s capital city.

Speaking to downcast supporters, Cantor conceded, “Obviously we came up short” in a bid for renomination to an eighth term.

The victory was by far the biggest of the 2014 campaign season for tea party forces, although last week they forced veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran into a June 24 runoff, and hope state Sen. Chris McDaniel can prevail then.

Cantor’s defeat was the first primary setback for a senior leader in Congress in recent years. Former House Speaker Thomas Foley of Washington and Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota both lost their seats at the polls in the past two decades, but they fell to Republicans, not to challengers from within their own parties.

Polls prior to Election Day had Cantor with a 30 point lead and there was not a single outlet which noted any chance of a loss to Dave Brat. This one was truly out of left field for most folks except voters in the Seventh District of Virginia.

Cantor was a big supporter of immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship. This may either mean that issue is dead for now or they will take this opportunity to push harder since he’s got nothing to lose anyway.

The narrative that the “Tea Party is dead” just took a blow last night as the sitting majority leader was ousted in a historical 12 point loss. Brat wasn’t even necessarily endorsed or supported by any Tea Party groups simply because it was perceived that he had no chance of winning.

Under Virginia law, Cantor’s name cannot appear on the ballot in November which avoids the possibility of an independent run.


  1. Cantor’s problem was trying to be all things to all people. It’s good to listen to constituents, but you can’t pretend to BE all of them.

      • Surf: Well, a Dino would be a Yellow-Dog Democrat, not a Republican.

        Cantor had an excellent conservative voting record. What killed him was his imperial attitude. I heard that he never went anywhere without a huge entourage. And, of course, he was always trying to get on the national news, rather than giving a crap about his district.

        Ironically, his own ads may have killed him. By attacking a nobody so heavily, he gave Brat credibility.

        Also, since every eighth word Brat says is “God,” Virginians may have noticed that Cantor is Jewish. Cantor was the only non-Christian in EITHER House of Congress. Now, there will be none.

        (And Christian extremists continue to cry about not having enough control. . . .)

  2. Gillespie is trying to walk a fine line between establishment and grassroots. So far, he’s making it happen picking up endorsements all around. I’m wondering whether the Cantor loss will make him think twice about any moves which would similarly upset the base come November. He’ll need every last Republican vote plus a chunk of indy’s and dems to upset Mark Warner.

    Gillespie is touting the Cantor loss as indication voters are upset with incumbents (i.e. Mark Warner) so he’s saying it’s good for him and hopes to ride a similar wave. We’ll see..

  3. Eric Cantor the RINO, didn’t just lose — he got manhandled, mangled, destroyed, made to look the fool, annihilated, embarrassed, negated by 55-44% political career ending loss!

    Dave Brat, the Tea Party American Patriot, showed that GOP Elitists are on the way out — and way out of touch of what Real Americans demand — with an astounding 11 point victory!!!

    Another clear message SENT from the American patriotic people to the RNC — embrace ALL Tea Party candidates FULLY, and stop supporting any Neocons IMMEDIATELY — or tarnish the Republican Party for a long time, by placing your self-interests above all else!

    You, the GOP/RNC oligarchs are fossils that will eventually be driven out, but at what cost if you persist hanging-on tooth-and-nail against REAL AMERICAN Tea Party PATRIOTS (that TRULY represent what the Republican Party is all about, while you RINO/DINO RNC apparatchiks have strayed so far away, that there is hardly a difference between you Neocons, and the Dems!) — the cost of ruining our nation (so you can fill a little more of your already filled to the brim pockets)?!

    Save the Republican Party — remove RNC apparatchik Reince Priebus NOW, and endorse all Tea Party candidates ASAP!

    Or else…face the destruction of this party, and our nation if the Dems win again!

  4. A seven-term congressman with ties to the financial industry, Cantor had spent more than $5 million to head off the challenge from Brat, a political newcomer who teaches at Randolph-Macon College.

    Brat spent only about $122,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and was not seen in the media or national Republican circles as a danger to Cantor.

    Dave Brat’s telling statement: “The reason we won tonight is because Dollars do not vote …you do!”,0,1218678.story

    [“Eric Cantor’s loss tonight is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment. The grassroots is in revolt and marching,” said Brent Bozell, a veteran conservative activist and founder of the Media Research Center and ForAmerica.]

  5. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” — supposedly said by Japanese Admiral Yamamoto regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Whether he said it or not, Japan awoke a sleeping giant (The American People) and paid for it in the end!

    The benefit of having anti-American scumbags in Office, like Obama &Co. and RINOS that fall in step with the vile DEMS, is that they have awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve — the Real American People, that won’t take ANY MORE SHIT from these scumbags!

  6. The GOP should listen to the “grass roots“! Middle-Right is all we are asking for, adhere to the Constitution and the A’s – btw, get rid of BHO before he turns us socialist.

    • Sam: Technically speaking, the Constitution INCLUDES the Amendments, since they are simply alterations to the original document.

      • Goethe – I’m sure you are correct – but the A’s have been modified over time and sometimes people don’t know which which but yeah, Amendments AMEND the Constitution.

        • Sam: The reason I picked about that is that Americans don’t understand the importance of amending the Constitution.

          We all love the Constitution, but most people think amendments are no big deal–if you get it wrong, like the 18th, well, shucks, we’ll just kill it with the 21st.

          It was always an abomination and an embarrassment that a relatively small number of prigs were able to RESTRICT the rights in our Constitution of freedoms. And rather than having a cavalier attitude, we should realize that amendments CHANGE the original document–that’s what “amendment” means.

          And now, some morons want to have a Constitutional Convention. Once it were authorized, there would be no way to limit it–and what someone at a certain time might think is a good idea would be permanent. And it would be worse than an amendment, because the original wording would be LOST.

          Amendments are tacked on. A Constitutional Convention would mess with the original document. I don’t know about you, but I do not trust ANYONE to do that properly.

  7. Related: Cochran’s win.

    Apparently, Cochran beat the Tea Party in his primary by campaigning to Democrats.

    Pretty sure Democrats won’t vote for him in the fall (he’s no Reagan). Should that be held against him? Should other establishment Republicans do the same thing?

    Is there any chance he will lose in November? Would it be better if he did?

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