Political Shocker: Cantor loses

Dave Brat and Family

Well no one saw that coming.  David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, trounced Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary last night.  Brat is a down the line pro-life conservative, go here to view his website.  There were two issues separating Cantor and Brat:  amnesty and a deep dissatisfaction with Republican leadership in Congress among the Republican leadership.  Brat was outspent twenty-five to one and in a high turnout primary he won:

Randolph-Macon College economics professor Dave Brat won the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Brat had 56 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent when the Associated Press called the race just after 8 p.m. 

Go here to the National Journal to read the rest.  The last time a majority leader of the House was defeated in a primary McKinley was president.  So what does this mean?  First, that the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups shilling for amnesty wasted their money.  This kills any sub rosa enthusiasm for amnesty among Republicans in Congress.  Second, that there is likely going to be a heated fight for leadership slots among Republicans in the House and perhaps in the Senate after the 2014 elections.  Third, that the Republican establishment has just received a much needed wake up call that ordinary Republican voters can find alternatives to them, and that all the campaign cash in the world cannot save them when a quality opponent is willing to throw his hat into the ring.



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  1. I’ve seen that Brat has degrees in theology and economics, and that he’s written about Ayn Rand. Does anyone know what he’s written about Ayn Rand? This seems like this could be really, really good or really, really bad.

  2. No matter who else is voted in or out, yesterday’s vote will have an impact on future votes and congressional action. The Speaker and others will take this seriously.

  3. “Does anyone know what he’s written about Ayn Rand? ”

    Can’t find it online but this is from his CV:

    “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand” by Katy Holland and David Brat,
    presented and published in the proceedings of Southeast Informs, Myrtle Beach,
    SC, October 6, 2010.

  4. “all the campaign cash in the world ”
    Money means a lot. Just because Cantor used his —$$$— stupidly
    doesn’t mean otherwise. Cantor managed to do about everything he could possibly do,

  5. “Does anyone know what he’s written about Ayn Rand?”

    I’m sure Jonathan Chait will have a thinkpiece up shortly on this and What It All Means for the state of the conservative movement

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