Tea party candidate David Brat won a completely unexpected upset in his Republican primary, defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). It is the first time ever that a House Majority Leader has lost in a primary.
The media had almost unanimously predicted that Cantor would win easily. Politico said “In other news, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor is expected to beat his primary challenger”. The Hill said “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are cruising to primary victories Tuesday after fighting Tea Party challengers every inch of the way. Both incumbents showed fire in the belly. Their campaigns are the latest proof that establishment Republicans can triumph over insurgents if they really want the win and do what it takes to turn that hope into reality.”
Oops. After this, I expect an even more dysfunctional Congress.
UPDATE: How did Brat win? Even his campaign manager doesn’t know.
UPDATE 3: A survey of different opinions on why Cantor lost, which makes some really interesting points. My favorite analysis is that while the tea party may be crazy, at least they aren’t completely in thrall to the corporations who caused the financial crisis, like the establishment Republicans are.