The PJ Tatler

Was Eric Cantor's Loss About Immigration?

Appearing on Fox News Tuesday night, Ann Coulter pinned the unexpected defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor squarely on his support of immigration reform.

When people know that [immigration reform] is an issue… when they know that amnesty is on the table, amnesty loses big.

RedState editor Erick Erickson claims there’s much more to the story than that. He writes of a local dynamic within Cantor’s Virginia congressional district that may have contributed strongly to this result:

Cantor’s constituent services moved more toward focusing on running the Republican House majority than his congressional district. K Street, the den of Washington lobbyists, became his chief constituency. In Virginia a couple of months ago, several residents of Cantor’s district groused that they were going to support Brat because they did not think Cantor was doing his job as a Virginia congressman. Others no longer trusted him.

Cantor may not be the only one overlooking his constituents. By rushing to focus on immigration as the root cause of Cantor’s loss, pundits and analysts may miss something less sexy but more important. No matter the national mood, the only votes that count toward re-election are those cast in an incumbent’s home district.