Cantor defeat: Mythbuster edition

2012 Cantor Brat

Pistol Pete’s summary of the primary election is @

The following is excerpted from my Fox News Update email:

Eric Cantor lost his primary to Dave Brat, a small college economics professor. Cantor is House Majority Leader and 13-year incumbent Representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district. This is the first time ever that a sitting House majority leader lost a primary.

  • Myth #1: Cantor was upended in a low-turnout election by a small number of Tea Party “radicals.”
  • Reality #1: Voter turnout for the primary was 28% HIGHER than it was for the presidential year primary of 2012. As Pistol Pete said, “This was what I call a ‘broken glass election. That’s one where you would crawl on your hands and knees over broken glass to get to the voting booth.”
  • Myth #2: Immigration outrage among downscale voters overwhelmed Cantor’s upscale electoral base.
  • Reality #2: Turnout was up fairly uniformly across the district, including in Cantor’s affluent home county which he lost.
  • Myth #3: Democrats crossed over in Virginia’s non-partisan primary to sabotage the stronger Republican candidate to improve their chances in the fall.
  • Reality #3: There is no evidence for this. For one thing, voter turn-out in the most Democratic neighborhoods lagged far behind turn-out in the most Republican areas. Second, Brat had a 10-point margin of victory, something mischievous Democrats couldn’t achieve.
  • Myth #4: The race was another battle in the national civil war between the national Tea Party and the national Republican establishment.
  • Reality #4: Brat did get a big boost from talk radio heavy hitters like Mark Levin, but he had zero backing from any of the national groups. Brat said, “I had wonderful people in the Tea Party grass roots helping me out, and they’re clearly responsible for the win, but I ran on the Republican principles.”

So what did happen?

Brat ran as Cantor’s “term limit.” Folks are deeply fed up with the corrupt status quo in Washington. Also, Cantor has made himself part of the anti-Tea Party effort to shift the Republican party back toward more conservative principles. Cantor also flip-flopped on immigration, which just deepened voter outrage about the business as usual cess pool that is Washington, D.C. politics.

And next fall?

Brat’s Democrat opponent, is a professor at the same college. He had little support from the Democrat machine while they assumed he’d be running against the incumbent. Since Brat’s win, they’re helping him; but the national Tea Party groups are coming in for Brat as well. This should be fun. Plus awkward at college staff meetings.


Filed under David Brat, Democrats, Elections, Eric Cantor, Immigration, Mythbusting, Republicans, Tea Party

8 responses to “Cantor defeat: Mythbuster edition

  1. O/T but..

    Well, good grief, as Charlie Brown used to say. WordPress just sent me a note in the last five minutes that it’s been three years since I signed up for a WordPress account. IIRC, the reason I got a WordPress account was PoliNation. My first comment (per my records) was 2011 Jun 7.

    Close enough.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      Seriously? We’ve been doing this that long?! Time flies when you’re having fun. 🙂


  2. chrissythehyphenated

    The Left piles on the idiocy with “Cantor lost because Tea Partiers hate Jews.”


  3. chrissythehyphenated

    The “raaaacist” GOP gave Tim Scott the nomination in a landslide. Fave tweet: “If you have Liberals saying that #Cantor lost because of GOP bigotry, tell them to Google Tim Scott (This tweet brought to you by a Jew)”


  4. chrissythehyphenated

    The Cantor campaign spent $168,637 on steakhouse dinners and $724 on cufflinks, $287 at the Capitol Hill Starbucks in a single day, and another $139 on I-tunes downloads.

    The Brat campaign spent $200,000 on the campaign. Total.

    The Left is spinning this as a major loss for GOP “moderates” … a word they use to mean “plays well with big-spending Democrats.”


  5. chrissythehyphenated

    Bwahahaha! Best tweet of the night: “GOP base shows anti-intellectual streak by rallying around a Ph.D. economist.”