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Self-Evident

Plenty of uninformed-to-inane coverage is assumed when a big event occurs that most reporters have little background on, and it is always assumed from the practitioners of “conservative anthropology” — see the expected lunacy from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the Huffington Post’s “Crusaders!” angle. However, most of the Fox News coverage last night on Dave Brat’s victory demonstrated a decent grasp on the race, though no one has really nailed the story yet.

The best angle I’ve seen so far came a short while ago from local Virginia blog The Bull Elephant; blogger and locally prominent conservative Jamie Radtke offered the “Top Ten Reasons Eric Cantor Lost.” She is perfectly correct in that Brat’s victory was not simply a matter of amnesty or anger at the “GOP establishment,” but a perfect storm of several factors, including timing, and the most important factor being local anger at the behavior of Cantor’s campaign team.

Think of the Villanova-Georgetown championship in 1985, or even the Red Sox taking out my Yanks in 2004: everything had to go perfectly. The majority leader does not get resoundingly defeated for the first time in American history any other way.

Bret Baier, Sean Hannity, et al focused heavily on immigration last night, including the very recent and horrifying images of hopeful DREAMers being abandoned in Arizona. These images very likely proved to seal the deal for Brat, as he was able to connect Cantor’s comments last week of it being time to finish negotiating with Obama on an amnesty deal. Brat’s response received national — read “MSM” — coverage, and Cantor’s comments, reported at Breitbart, lived in the upper right corner of Drudge for several hours over this past weekend. (Interestingly, the link connecting Cantor’s quote to the Arizona shelter fiasco disappeared at some point, though the other links stayed up.) 

The Daily Caller commissioned a Vox Populi poll that showed Cantor leading 52%-40% with 9% undecided. They released the poll on June 6, and the results dated back to June 2. This was the one and only poll released to the public regarding this race. Believing that the Arizona images affected the race in Brat’s favor following this poll is a very small leap of faith, especially considering the poll itself is assumed to have accomplished two goals for Brat, according to Brat insiders:

1. The Daily Caller poll results came a week after Ray Allen, Cantor’s blustery campaign chief, had stated that his internal polling showed Cantor up by about 34 points. Whether or not Allen was telling the truth — I believe he was not, as his concurrent choice to spend bazillions on direct mailings smearing Brat as a “liberal college professor” are not the actions of a man thinking he is comfortably ahead — the Daily Caller poll allowed Team Brat to tell supporters that, according to Allen’s own admission, Brat had just made up 22 points in one week.

Don’t underestimate the message that sent to Brat’s grassroots. A 22-point swing is an Anthony Weiner-level cratering of one’s support.

2. Undecideds break 80% for the challenger. The Daily Caller poll reasonably placed Brat in a 52%-48% race, with a stated 4% margin of error.

Trust me: the Daily Caller poll was huge in Brat’s office. At that point Friday evening, all informed observers knew the worst possible outcome for Brat was losing by five or fewer. If you were completely caught off-guard, you likely hadn’t seen that Daily Caller poll.

About that potential 22-point cratering: I believe it was a much smaller drop in support, though I cannot know for sure, yet I definitely know that the cause of that horrible stretch for Cantor was only mentioned tangentially so far in the major wrap-ups of the elections.

Laura Ingraham — who headlined a pro-Brat event on June 2 — mentioned last night that one of those Ray Allen mailings made the wildly dishonest claim that Cantor was “stopping the Obama/Reid plan to give amnesty to illegal aliens.” As evidence, she referred to the fact that just last year Cantor took a three-day speaking tour with the chief amnesty supporter in Congress, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and that the intent of tour was discussing their shared ideas for “comprehensive immigration reform.”

But the key event of the election, which occurred during the Cantor crash week, was this: on May 28, Rep. Luis Gutierrez came all the way to Richmond to appear at the Virginia Capitol building for the purpose of declaring Eric Cantor to be “the one man standing in the way of immigration reform.”

Of course, the Allen mailers proclaiming the exact same message had gone out just a day or two before.

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Top Rated Comments   
Brat should win convincingly in November....minus the spite-induced, threatened 'write-in' campaign by Cantor which would obviously degrade and/or split the republican vote. If Cantor pulls the Murkowski - commies pick up the seat....If Cantor dutifully supports Brat - conservatives pick up the seat and 'the establishment's puppet Old Yellowstain Boehner is further isolated. My guess: Cantor 'write-in' out of pure spite. If he does that, he should be scorned and shunned the rest of his pathetic life.....you were beat fair and square even after lying your ass off about amnesty, so take your defeat like a man, support the nominee and then just go away.

Remember BENGHAZI!
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did I dream it, or did Larry Sabato - within the last week - laugh off Brat's candidacy and declare the Tea Party dead?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
1) Karl Rove upset - good
2) NY Times upset - good
3) RNC upset -good
4) Tea Party not dead - Great

Tea Party Republicans want a) Rule of law 2) Constitution adherence and 3) Limited Government. Cantor sold out years ago. Hopefully, Brat gets it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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The Tea Party is a state of mind. Jenny Beth Martin doesn't represent it - I heard her squirming like a fish on a hook on Laura Ingraham's show - she had never even talked to Dave Brat prior to that. And she pays herself 400K a year... I don't mind a good salary - but couldn't she have given 100K and only taken 300K, to take out Eric Cantor?

Sorry Mark Levin, I love you, but you have been a disappointment - from not following through on leading on your Liberty Amendments (you should donate every penny of that book into making it work) to defending JBM and coming just short of attacking Laura Ingraham. You used to do the same against Glenn Beck - reference him in contempt but not actually name him.

Congratulations to Dave Brat, who represents the Republicanism that is the Spirit of the Tea Party - Reagan Conservatism.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excuse me but I think you are too deeply into the weeds on this story. Dave Brat is a refreshing, youthful and compelling candidate who actually has a consistent "conservative" message. Guess what? He actually knows what free markets are. He actually says that the government cannot solve all our problems and should not try. He is not a pandering fool trying to go "democrat" lite all the time. He is a conservative. He ran as a conservative. He got up and said that he is a Christian and believes in telling the truth and that the fate of this great country belongs to the people not to the fat assed politicians and other jerks hanging around the beltway. Sorry no great mystery here. The problem is that NONE of our existing so called leaders ever mentions limited government and have not the slightest trace of "pair" when it comes to calling out Obama on what he is doing NOW to undermine and debase our country. So dare I say that Dave Brat won because of Dave Brat and no thanks to Fox or Reince or any of the other know it all usual suspects. End of story.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
After this, you can bet that there are a lot of Republicans scurrying around trying to rent halls for town hall meetings they had planned to blow off. What was it that Hilary had when she was first running for the Senate? A listening tour? Can you here me NOW!
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Frankly, it's all been incredibly stupid.

1) Money spent:

People obviously have no clue. Robo-calls and mailers are junk, spam. Expensive plate dinners are hobnob glitterati fests.

Brat had Laura, Levin, Drudge and Breitbart. Are you kidding me? The value of that (and a little PJM thrown in) is worth a billion direct mail spammers. That was FREE, but worth a fortune.

2) Big news items:

A) Central America uses the US as a full time baby sitter, we dump abandoned kids on a street corner in Arizona and say...Hey, pick that up for me will ya...like a Monty Python skit.

B) 13 million border crashers invade, we give them a Happy Meal and a foot massage. One Marine tries NOT to cross the border, they throw his ass in jail and tell us to piss off about it.


Rural Virginians just voted...Amnesty this, pal.

And the Tea Party wouldn't answer Brat's calls. Not one dime.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don’t understand the claim that “everything had to go perfectly. The majority leader does not get resoundingly defeated for the first time in American history any other way.” Is this conclusion regarded as self-evident? What counts as part of “everything”? Is it the same causal factors into which any election can be broken down? If the defeat had been narrow, would it then be true that “everything had to go perfectly. The majority leader does not get narrowly defeated for the first time in American history any other way”?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great info. Clearly Cantor was a key ally in pushing Gutierrez's Comprehensive Colonization Plan....as Gutierrez delcared Amnesty dead after Cantor defeat today.

LOL!
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
David, just thank you for covering this primary and continuing to report on it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ditto, lots of hard work and it shows.
Cantor got his ass kicked and his bag-carriers are now dripping flop sweat. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
A shame. Cantor is a good guy, and I suspect that his support of a deal on amnesty is in large part due to Boehnert's influence.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, he's another lying POS, in Boehner's posse.
They blow smoke all day.
They have no intention of doing what you want.
Time to expunge the bad.
One way or another.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two words: Open primary. California has it too. Could have possibly accounted for part of it.
But either way, I hope Mr. Brat and his supporters don't get overconfident. 4 years ago, Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate, won her primary. And even though all of Nevada but 2 counties HATE Harry Reid, he still won the general. Combination of dirty politics, and people being afraid of the devil they didn't know.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think they were MORE afraid of the devil they knew and buckled under.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
He cheated on a massive scale.
I don't have time to give you links.
If you want a motive, who but Dirty harry would carry Ostupid's water in defiance of every civilized norm?
They needed him, and they needed Obama.
Worry less about the candidates and more about the rampant GOTV cheating.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Betsy Woodruff has an interesting article on the Washington Examiner about the state and local politics that were involved. Go to http://washingtonexaminer.com/why-dave-brats-win-wasnt-a-victory-for-the-tea-party/article/2549610

It wasn't really a Tea Party vs. Establishment race according to the VA political types interviewed. Brat himself claims to be a strong pro Republican guy, not an anti-establishment guy nor a Tea Partier, even though he received strong local (not national) tea party support.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
When one speaks of this "Tea Party", we are not really referring to the organizations perse. We are referring to a movement which contains the set of all people who agree with the Tea Party philosophy.
Organized Tea Party rolls probably account for one twentieth of the votes that will accrue in the general election.
My wife and I count ourselves in lockstep with the Tea Party, but have never attended a meeting or even spoken with a single person who we knew for sure was an official memeber of some Tea Party outfit.
God Bless Them, but I don't have the time. But I will vote for someone who they bring to the fore through their hard work, because we agree everything has gone to s***, and must be brought up with a 'round turn.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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