ERIC CANTOR DEFEATED IN VIRGINIA …
U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor is going to need a new Twitter handle … and supporters of immigration reform are going to need a new cheerleader.
The “Republican” lawmaker – who tweets under the moniker “@GOPLeader” – was handily thumped in the GOP primary for the Commonwealth’s seventh congressional district, a shocking defeat that reverberated through the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. According to Roll Call – an inside-the-Beltway rag – Cantor is the first sitting majority leader in American history to be defeated in a primary election.
Who beat him? David Brat – a professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College who spent only around $200,000 on his insurgent bid (most of it blasting Cantor for his support of amnesty for illegal aliens).
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Brat scored a landslide win in the low-turnout primary – prevailing 56-44 percent over the man who was in line to become the next Speaker of the U.S. House.
“This is one of the most stunning upsets in modern American political history,” veteran University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato told The Richmond Times Dispatch. “This is the base rebelling against the GOP leadership in Washington as represented by Eric Cantor.”
Sabato added that “if immigration reform was on life support before, they’re pulling out the plugs.”
Beyond the immigration debate, Cantor’s defeat will set off a ferocious power struggle within the GOP leadership over who should replace him as majority leader. The winner of that debate will have the inside track on becoming Speaker of the House when John Boehner steps down.