Historic Loss: House Majority Leader Cantor Loses Virginia Primary To Tea Party's Brat

Tyler Durden's picture

While The Tea Party had been relatively aggressive in the race, it is still quite shocking to the establishment that the second-highest House Republican just got unseated (despite outspending Brat by a ratio of 20-to-1) by a local tea-party-backed economics professor:


Echoing Europe's dissatisfaction with the status quo, it appears the announcement of the death of the Tea Party was a little premature. Cantor was elected to Congress in 2000... looks like we have to add one to initial jobless claims this week.



With 90% counted...



Via The Hill,

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the Speaker-in-waiting who was bidding for his seventh term in Congress, was defeated in a primary election by a little-known conservative economics professor, David Brat, in one of the most stunning upsets in modern political history.


Brat defeated Cantor despite having no experience in elected office and despite Cantor outspending him by a margin of nearly 20-to-1. The Associated Press called the race for Brat shortly after 8 p.m., an hour after polls closed in Virginia's 7th district. Brat was leading Cantor, 56 percent to 44 percent, with 80 percent precincts reporting.


For Cantor, the loss marks an abrupt end to a fast rise through the House leadership, a path that many expected would make him the first Jewish Speaker in U.S. history.


And it is perhaps the most significant jolt to the Republican establishment since the emergence of the Tea Party in 2009. While conservative activists have ousted veteran Republicans like Sens. Bob Bennett (Utah) and Richard Lugar (Ind.), a sitting majority leader has never been defeated in a primary election.




Wary of allowing Tea Party groups to turn his district into a top battleground, Cantor unleashed a an early and heavy barrage of negative ads against Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College who previously lost a race for the state legislature. Cantor spent more than $1 million on the primary and attacked Brat as a “liberal” who served on an advisory board for former Gov. Tim Kaine at a time when the Democrat was pushing tax increases.


In the waning days of the race, conservative radio stars Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin boosted Brat and condemned Cantor for backing “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. The attacks came even as Cantor was under fire from advocates of immigration reform for his refusal to bring legislation to the House floor that would offer legal status for undocumented immigrants.





Meet The Man Who Just Crushed Eric Cantor (via ABC)

Brat, who admits that he has supported several Cantor candidacies over the years, says he mounted his improbable primary campaign because the House GOP's No. 2 leader has lost touch with his constituents, "veering from the Republican creed."

"Years ago he had a good conservative track record, but now he's veered off," Brat told ABC News during an interview on Capitol Hill. "If you go to Heritage and look at their score, I think he's at about a 53 right now. I mean, that's an F-minus."

Heritage Action's scorecard tracks Republican votes, co-sponsorships and other legislative activity to gauge how conservative members of Congress are performing. Cantor actually receives a 52 percent, which ranks seventh among eight Virginia House Republicans.

While a recent profile of the race in the Washington Post characterized Brat as "a potential threat," the quirky challenger knows he has a tough road to victory in the June 10 primary.

"Most of these [primary] races don't kick in until about 30 days prior," he said. "Now everyone's looking, what's the race? It's an open primary and it's just Eric and I on the ticket."

Brat, 49, isn't the first primary challenger Cantor has faced. The Richmond Republican smoked primary challenger Floyd Bayne in 2012 by nearly 60 percentage points before cruising to a 17-point victory in the general election.

But with low primary turnout (just 47,000 voters turned out in the primary two years ago) and anti-incumbency fervor at an all-time high, Cantor's team says they aren't overlooking Brat, although they "don't see him getting a great deal of traction."

"We're on the ground, running the campaign," Cantor campaign spokesman and senior strategist Ray Allen said in a phone interview. "We take every figure seriously and do our own due diligence. It is what it is."

Brat claims "the money is flowing in right now," expanding an underwhelming campaign war chest that he last reported contained just $40,000.

"The race was once viewed as a long-shot, [but] it's tightening now," Brat said. "We're well over double, triple what we had on the books just a month ago and so now we're getting the national attention I always hoped."

Brat complained that Cantor, 50, has a "crony-capitalist mentality" to take care of the corporate sector ahead of the interests of small businesses.

"On the conservative scorecard, on the free market votes, he's doing everything wrong," Brat said. "He's not following what folks in his district want him to do and it's hurting the country."

Allen described Brat as "a weird duck" and criticized him for serving on then-Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine's Joint Advisory Board of Economists.

"Eric Cantor is a conservative leader," Allen, who has advised Cantor's campaigns since 1991, said. "[Brat] doesn't like being called a liberal college professor, but that's what he is and what he's always been. Tea Party conservatives don't serve as an economic adviser to Tim Kaine."

Brat calls himself as a "free market guy," and says he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also pledged never to increase taxes and to stick to a five-year promise not to vote to increase the debt limit.

"This isn't a personal race. I'm not running against Eric," he stressed. "I'm just running on the founding principles that Adam Smith and free markets - they made us the greatest nation on the Earth. All right? It's no mystery. Our rights, tradition, along with free markets and the Judeo-Christian tradition all together made us the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. I think we're veering off course a little bit there and I want to get us back on that course that brought us to greatness."

If Brat ultimately wins the primary and is seated in the 114 th Congress, he would not commit his vote for speaker to House Speaker John Boehner, but offered his support to any contender who's "more free market and more fiscally responsible."

"I'd have to take a good look at what they're doing but I support people who follow the Republican creed, and so it doesn't look like the leadership is doing a good job on that right now," Brat said.

"They're not free market at all, right? They do not take free market seriously and they're off on fiscal responsibility."

* * *

And the social reactions come pouring in:


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ihedgemyhedges's picture

Best news of the year!!!!

So Close's picture

Cantor was a go a long to suck a long.

knukles's picture

Hah ha ha ha ha ha

And the MSM is trying ever os fucking hard to describe this all as a flash in the pan.
Doing the same with the UKIP, French Right, etc.

Things aren't right...

Check out some conservative talk radio for shits and grins.  They're tearing the Establishment Republicans new Assholes.  The E R's are the new enemy of the state, so to speak.

Hah ha ha hanha ha

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Take that, Cantor, you phony prick.

Keyser's picture

I love it, beat by a Tea Party newbie... The shape of things to come as the people are pissed...

economics9698's picture

When bread is $11 a loaf they will get really pissed.

macholatte's picture


Hammering away at the ballot box is a much, much better way to start a revolution than shooting a couple of cops. Let us hope this is a trend.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Best part is that Brat was talking about 'amnesty' and wins the primary just as the news is talking about Obama's runaround on immigration with Central American children. 

I see a connection here.  Brat has a real chance in the general election.

CrazyCooter's picture

Same thing happened to Murkowski (establishment) back when Miller (tp) beat her in the primary in AK for the Senate. Republican establishment backed Murkowski's 3rd party bid. It was close, but she beat Miller.

This ain't over ...



SoberOne's picture

This gives me a glimmer of hope...

Troll Magnet's picture

Whoo hoo!
Lets get rid of all these Zionist Jew lawbreakers first! Next up: Schumer, Feinstein, Boxer, Franken...

kliguy38's picture

ok ok.........who forgot to adjust the voting machines...you are in some deep chit mofo

jbvtme's picture

one less shape shifter telling me what to do

Four chan's picture

lol that would be a lot of bankers money wasted buying that sellout..if they didnt just print the worthless paper out of thin air.

James_Cole's picture

Will be interesting to see where this goes.

Edit: Actually, looking at the margins it's not much of a win. 36k to 29k? General election 2012: cantor 222k to powell 157k. Embarrassing, but cantor could still win as a write-in candidate. Edit again.. looks like he can't really..I'll just leave this one alone. 

GetZeeGold's picture





Flyover country revolts....take that bitchez!

Headbanger's picture

Please contribute to ZH Eric Cantor Consolation Prize DeWalt Rapid Fire Nail Gun Fund


Thank you for your generosity!


wee-weed up's picture



Ha! Ha! Ha!

Boehner's butt-boy gets fucked...

But not by his boss!  i.e.  no Vaseline!

GetZeeGold's picture




Boehner will be demoted to Congressional intern.

So What's picture

what happened to the billions of Jewish money. Primary election becomes the new bottle neck where these usurpers can be eliminated.

MeMongo's picture

Fukin A troll magnet! The sooner the better!

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

I don't get it. Cantors a douche but who could get to the right of him? He toes the line on the whole Republican brand.

Keyser's picture

Really? Brat ran on an anti-immigration reform platform while Cantor is pressing reform for the GOP. It doesn't get any clearer than that...



GetZeeGold's picture




He toes the line on the whole Republican brand.


Yeah progressive republican.....no thank you.

kaiserhoff's picture

The talking heads will bitch and piss and moan, but this is the Virginia Seventh, a sprawling district running from West Point on the York River, around some Richmond suburbs and almost to the Blue Ridge west of Culpepper.  It is, in short, a great cross section of what a Republican strong hold should look like.

As a complete buffoon once said, "this is a fucking big deal."

Keyser's picture

Virginia has historically been a red state... It has only been in recent years with the population influx around DC that it has shifted to the left... It looks like the good ole' folk from just below the Mason Dixon line have woken up and gone to the polls... 


graneros's picture

Virginia Code 24.2-520 : A candidate who loses a primary shall be prohibited from having his name on a general election ballot.

MontgomeryScott's picture

United States Code 1776.07.04 : 'When, in the course of human events,...'

The Crown response: 'The rebels are alert to our attack plan...'


Admiral Cantor has failed the Cabal (probably, for the last time).

Don't worry, though. Pelosi and Reid are waiting, and McCain and Graham are all set to go.

Emperor Obama will probably pass a 'presidential signing statement' that nullifies Vagina law (or, rather, 'Admiralty Code'). No CHILD, no STATE, anfd NO VIRGIN will be 'left behind', now.

I am currently taking wagers on the date and time of the next MSM-scripted 'mass shooting event'. I'll wager it's within the next 72 hours, and the 'suspect' will commit suicide. He or she will be linked to 'tea-party' affiliations, and the Bundy Ranch, and Alex Jones, Matt Drudge, and ZERO HEDGE, and will probably be a 'veteran', as well.

That's a good citation of State law, but it doesn't mean SHIT. You HAVE heard of 'free speech zones' and 'indefinite detention', haven't you? How about USAPATRIOT, or NDAA?

Tell us all the legal difference between the definitions of the following terms: "Shall be"; "IS". 'SHALL BE' describes an indefinite time of action (sometime in the FUTURE). For EXAMPLE: 'Investing in gold futures now SHALL BE beneficial to the investor.' 'IS', on the other hand, defines a permanant link to both the present AND the future. 'Investing in gold futures now IS beneficial to the investor.' Can you see the difference between these statements? ONE promises immediate action, and the other does NOT (thus relying on FUTURE events).

Dr. Evil of the RNC branch of the false dicotomy called Eric Cantor 'Number two'. Lindsay Graham is still up and running, by the way. This political theater is all a MASS distraction.

buyingsterling's picture

You still earning money and filing taxes?
If so, then shut it. If you're still paying then you are a subject, and it DOES matter if there are more lunatics or more sane people in positions of power. To say otherwise is juvenile. And barring another plan, defeatist. It's all going down? Fine. Do you want more Cantors or Brats around when it collapses?

OldPhart's picture

As a military brat...there is no one you could find more dedicated to the ethos of the American Constitution than a brat.  It was drilled into us when we were babies.  We absorbed it, wallowed in it, and adopted it, then drilled it into our own kids.

I personally, am enthralled that this particular asshole's name is Brat.

To us that was a badge of honor.  I viscerally HAVE to support this guy just because of his name.

I am a proud Air Force Brat.  My mother actually wore combat boots, she eventually became a Senior Chief Master Sargeant (and the first Nurse Practioner, and has her own Supreme Court Decision, and was one of the first women Sheriff Deputies in San Bernardino County [she's in her 70's and can still shoot your eye out at 300 yards)...Dad was USAF Senior Master Sargeant when he retired.  Hardly knew him as a kid...Japan, Viet Nam, Okinawa, Guam, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Korea, Viet Nam...and numerous TDY's.  Still is the strongest man I've ever known, and the funniest.).  Moved so often I didn't even bother trying to make friends in school.

(I found it amazing to see kids in different states with similar names doing the same sort of shit I saw their namesakes doing..to the point it was too confusing.)

economics9698's picture

The military is what the USSR strived to be.  A utopia world where no one really worked and crap just magically appeared in the military stores.  Peasants came in from the outside to happily do the dirty work. Everyone was judged on skin color, sex, and assigned to jobs accordingly.  It was utopia on earth.


I hated the shit, so unreal.  Should have joined the French Foreign Legion. 

Frankie Carbone's picture

Don't need to have that many pro-human candidates in office. Just enough Ron Paul types to raise hell and force issues into the Lamestream media with their subsequent obligatory demonization of said candidates. 

Which will disgust more people as it forces them to show more of their pattern less subtly. Which may be enough for even a CONSUMER to finally "get it", or least more of them. 

Plant the seed, get a few of these types in office, and pray that the aristocratic Bourg Collective doesn't assimilate all of them. Because if you could get a few Ron Paul types in front of the camera, that alone will scare the shit out of AntiChrist and force a rash reaction. 

Which is what we could hope for right now. 

You kill AntiChrist by slashing it with paper cuts until it lashes out and starts a flip out, which inspires more people to poke at it, until it finally topples over from imbibing in too much of its own irrational, self-preserving nature until even the Dancing With the Stars groupies start to notice.  

You think Ron Paul was a thorn in their ass? What if you had just 5 Ron Pauls needling them with a right to be on their own home turf! How about 10? Tell you what, if one Ron could have opened up so many of our eyes, imagine what 5 or 10 could do. 

*Disclaimer: Not sayin' this guy is a Ron Paul type, but you get the point. Hopefully. 

economics9698's picture

The tribe will print some more to oust this guy.  Nothing changes untril the Fed is dead.

hangemhigh77's picture

You're right, 2 is not enough.

economics9698's picture

Glad one asshole is gone.

BandGap's picture

He truly was an asshole.

Ryan from Wisconsin has to go too, and take his John boner with him.

max2205's picture

I salute all 30 some thousand voter with the courage to VOTE and throw out the bums like Eric two face Canofbeans. Now if we can get the rest of the states to do the same....THIS SHIT AIN'T OVER!

disabledvet's picture

What's the news from the Battlefront?

GetZeeGold's picture




Agreed that Paul Ryan is next.


If Paul wants to help he can give a home to all the Mexican kids Obama is having bused in to the border....but I'll bet he doesn't.

Abi Normal's picture

Thanks for your vote of confidence in us max2205...it was quite easy to pull the lever on this one really.

conscious being's picture

Ah, hate to break it to you, but I don't think he's gone.  He'll still run in the Fall.

Some senator in conn. Did this a few years ago.  Lost the primary, ran anyway and one.

Edit - just read down thread about the "sore losers" law.

Adios Cantor.

mccvilb's picture

No way in hell the Tribe allows one of their own (nihilists) to succumb to a popularist revolt. The fight has only just begun. Support Bratt and others like him, because if we don't we only have to think back on resurrected Connecticut partisan and former Democratic Majority Leader and political Zombie Joe Lieberman. They never go away.

lakecity55's picture

Ryan is a phony, Class A fucking asshole.

I hope he's raped by a burly ex-con with AIDS.

Frankie Carbone's picture

I would love to get a candid shot of a guy like that with some guys dick in his mouth.