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Eric Cantor Loses In Truly Shocking Capital Hill Upset

Eric Cantor Loses In Truly Shocking Capital Hill Upset

Not since 1899 has the House Majority Leader lost a re-election vote, and never has one lost to such an unlikely challenger. In fact, yesterday’s historic upset is more or less unique in any sort of political race in U.S. history. The race in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District pitted the well-funded, established Eric Cantor, who had been almost a shoe-in to take John Boehner’s spot as House Speaker, against a little-known Tea Party candidate named Dave Brat. A college professor with plenty of academic credentials, Brat managed to fuel a perceived mistrust of Cantor’s politics and pitted himself as being more committed to the conservative cause, a stance which evidently made up for the giant disparity in their funding. Brat won by a margin in the double digits, unseating a household name in American politics before anyone outside of Virginia had decided to take him seriously. His campaign manager turned 23 in May. By any measure, it’s an impressive feat.

“I think this is a scale eight earthquake. I think it will shock the Washington establishment; it will shock the House Republicans,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CNN. And he’s probably right, but just what it all means is a matter of debate right now. It’s a huge, much-needed boost for the Tea Party, and a few pundits are also speculating that this will put any hope of immigration reform on life support. At this point, the only certain takeaway is that nothing in politics can ever be taken for granted …

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