House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Defeated in Primary

June 10, 2014

© W. L. Doromal, June 2014 
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) was defeated by 11 points by Tea Party candidate David Brat, an economics professor. Polls showed Cantor ahead by 34 points and he did not even show up in his district today as he expected to handily defeat Brat.

Cantor was seen as next in line for House speaker. He has five months left as majority leader unless he steps down.

Did immigration reform play a role in his defeat? It is hard to say. Cantor had Washington talking points that differed from his district talking points. Last year he supported the DREAM Act. During his campaign this year he sent out anti-amnesty mailers.

It is clear that the extreme right Republican voters in Virginia are standing against immigration reform.

Brat will run against another professor, Democrat John Trammel in the gerrymandered Republican District.

Democrats are celebrating the defeat of one of the main obstructionists in the House. The Huffington Post published a statement by Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL):
"When Eric Cantor, who time and again has blocked common sense legislation to grow the middle class, can't earn the Republican nomination, it's clear the GOP has redefined 'far right.' Democrats on the other hand have nominated a mainstream candidate who will proudly represent this district and I look forward to his victory in November."