Last night when I heard that Eric Cantor had lost his primary battle I went to Google news to look it up. I didn’t have to. Eric Cantor’s face was at the top of the page with the headlines blaring.
The Chamber of Commerce has been out for blood ever since the so-called government shutdown. But, though they have won some victories, they haven’t won all of their battles. As I’ve written before, the Tea Party is not over.
Thus, Fox News reported,
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his GOP Virginia primary race Tuesday night in a stunning upset to Tea Party-backed challenger Dave Brat.
Brat, an economics professor and political novice, had latched onto the increasingly hot-button issue of immigration and accused Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the GOP-led House, of supporting immigration legislation that would give “amnesty” to millions of people living illegally in the United States.
This victory is doubly sweet—not only is it great to get a Tea Party candidate in place, but it is also a victory to make it clear that immigration is a real issue that will cost Republicans who ignore and oppose their base.
And we showed that the base can be more powerful than moneyed establishment Republicans:
In the closing weeks of the race, Bratt argued the seven-term congressman’s support for legal status for children who have illegally entered the country fueled the problem of children from Central America pouring across the southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis.
Cantor, considered next in line to take over for House Speaker John Boehner, tried to respond forcefully by boasting in mailers of blocking Senate plans “to give illegal aliens amnesty.”
Cantor and other House Republican leaders had advocating a more step-by-step approach to immigration reform that would in part begin with tighter border security, instead of the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate.
Despite the attacks, Cantor had appeared well positioned for reelection in his 7th congressional District seat.
The most recent campaign finance reports show he spent more than $1 million in April and May but still has more than $1.5 million in the bank.
Brat, by contrast, raised just more than $200,000 for his campaign, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.
Big business, which supports immigration reform, and other groups also spent heavily to help Cantor.
This was an incredible David v. Goliath scenario and yet Brat won! The man the Establishment Republicans wanted as the next Speaker has been voted out of office.
Conservatives should have a catch phrase for this kind of sudden switch. I nominate, “Hope and Change.”