Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Eric Cantor's Loss is Something to Think About
And I would have been wrong.
You know who else thought Eric Cantor was certain to win? Eric Cantor's campaign, the internal polling of which had him up over his opponent, David Brat, by 34 points--but Brat bested him 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent. That is pretty damn different. I dunno if he hired Dean Chambers or what. But I do perceive one insect that might have tampered with the balm--former Republican Congressman Ben Jones made a push to have Independents and Democrats vote in the GOP primary with getting rid of Cantor very much in mind. I would love to see an analysis of who voted to see if this made an impact, but other wise, it looks like low turnout helped in Brat's favor. People just weren't going out of their way to vote Cantor.
One thing this does is give the lie to the narrative that the Tea Party is done for--this and the polling for the Mississippi run-off that puts McDaniels up over Cochran suggests that the "Return of the Establishment" isn't necessarily so. But another thing it does is upset the GOP House leadership expectations, that maybe, if John Boehner was of a mind to say "take this job and shove it" with respects to the Speakership (which I've always thought he might be in mind of doing, since it has seemed to me to be a thankless position), that Eric Cantor would naturally be their man. (He was, after all, something of a string-puller, I noted, regarding the budget and debt ceiling deals in 2011. He'd have been a logical choice.)
I honestly don't know that much about David Brat, or whether he has any "Akin-like" tendencies to open mouth-insert foot. And I have a feeling this is probably a safe district for the GOP hopeful regardless, having returned Republicans to Washington so frequently, so lately. But as one of the opposition, I find this turn of events pretty damn interesting. It does make you wonder what other strange upsets might be lurking where the political field isn't really as predictable as we think.