BREAKING: Conservative GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses primary to Tea Partyer

Huge news.

According to the AP, Republican US House of Representatives Majority Leader, the number two Republican in the House, uber-conservative Eric Cantor, from Virginia, just lost his primary race to a Tea Partyer, Dave Brat.

From AP:


This is huge news, as Cantor is, as the saying goes, to the right of Atilla.

Team Cantor is reportedly starting to freak out. Politico reporter Jake Sherman is at Cantor election HQ:

eric-cantor-resultsCantor is conservative.  If he’s too liberal for the modern Republican party, then the party is doomed, as may be the country.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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82 Responses to “BREAKING: Conservative GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses primary to Tea Partyer”

  1. LucySinclairsyk says:

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  2. Monte Logan says:

    one down. every once in a while, my state actually gives me something to be happy about. ONCE in a while. Now it’s time to get rid of Brat

  3. The_Fixer says:

    It is risky, true. Their Democrat’s reasoning for crossing over to vote against Cantor is fairly sound; It is a gamble worth taking because the TEA party candidates are prone to political foot-in-mouth disease and sabotaging their own campaigns. Even if Brat is elected, he would be considerably less powerful than Cantor. And it may force Cantor to run as an Independent, causing a vote split in the general election. There’s already been fallout – Cantor has resigned as Majority Leader.

    Brat’s Democratic opponent Jack Trammell has deep roots in Virginia, is smart, and should know how to talk to Virginia voters. This may give him an in.

    There are so many factors at play here that it’s impossible to say at this point if this risk will pay off in the form of a win for Trammell. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures and Democrats in Virginia took a desperate measure. Hope it pays off.

  4. Butch1 says:

    Typical republican. If he wants a real riot, let him and the rest of them try. They’ll be thrown out of office faster than they can blink. If he runs on that he will never make it. Too many of us live on Social Security and Veteran’s Benefits. What in the world is wrong with these young jerks!

  5. BeccaM says:

    Aye… well, there is one thing that may torpedo Brat’s candidacy, and that’s his call to cut Social Security and Medicare by 2/3.

    That’ll go over really well with seniors…

  6. Butch1 says:

    I have been and they now feel safe in this new climate to rant like this. One can hope that it doesn’t get too out of hand.

  7. BeccaM says:

    If you take a look on DKos and Raw Story, they both have multiple posts about several far-far right GOP candidates who have openly called for gays to be executed.

    That’s why like I said, I’m glad to see Cantor gone. I’m not glad to see what kinds of Republicans can now beat the entrenched establishment ultra-conservative GOPers.

  8. angryspittle says:

    I don’t really give a shit about what crackpot jackass replaces Cantor right now. I am just savoring the defeat of this smarmy little cocksucking hypocrite. And I bet that secretly Boner is not shedding any tears.

  9. Butch1 says:

    All they need is a religious leader like Ted Cruz to get into the White House and then it will be over. His religion is Dominionist that would like to replace our country from a Democratic-Republic to a Theocracy. They have said so. He plays down his religion, though he is an active member of his church where his father is a minister of it. I do not dismiss this man one bit. He may come off as a clown, but Allan Durshowich (sp) his law professor at Harvard University said he was one of the most brilliant students he ever had ever taught. I would believe him. He has fooled enough of the FOX views into believing what he says and I could see him winning an election with the right promotion. The man is dangerous and evil.

    By the way this religious sect thinks all gays need to be rounded up and eliminated. With someone like himself in that power, he would work tirelessly at trying to accomplish it. He has already tried to put an anti-marriage bill through the Senate.

  10. Naja pallida says:

    Oh, no doubt. That doesn’t mean they won’t use it as a campaign issue.

  11. Butch1 says:

    I have to say I am not sorry to see him go.

  12. Butch1 says:

    Dave Brat, by first appearances seems to be an ultra religious right-wing conservative. He started off by thanking god and continued down that vein before his family and constituents even pulling out a biblical quote from the chapter Luke. It was starting to get nauseating for me being an atheist. We do not need one more religious nut in the Congress, especially on on the right in the tea party in my opinion. I can assume what his views are going to be like socially and this is not what we need making law.

  13. Butch1 says:

    Immigration will be dead in the House.

  14. Naja pallida says:

    It’s hard to say, but it’s going to hinge on the immigration issue, and just how many people turn out. Virginia polling in general shows support for immigration reform, which at this point would lean Democratic, but a low voter turnout will guarantee Brat wins.

  15. emjayay says:

    He has been working for the Federal government long enough at a high enough salary to get a decent but not lavish pension. I’m not taking the time right now, but the calculations are quite simple based on his publicly known pay. Look it up and figure it out if you want to.

    His health care, which was never free (75% subsidy, various copays depending on plan) will end one month after the end of his job. He can pay full freight under COBRA after that if he wants to. This isn’t Yahoo! News. Let’s keep to the facts please.

    If he wants a lobbying job at several times the pay he was making, of course that is his for the asking.

  16. heimaey says:

    Fair enough. However, it’s not like most long-term congressmen are acting in our best interests and aren’t being controlled by the lobbyists anyway. Get rid of the lobbyists. Or put heavy restrictions on them. We don’t’ have term limits now because of the Madison/Jefferson balance and due to life spans when our archaic and out-dated constitution was drafted. I would love to see a new one.

  17. Houndentenor says:

    Democrats have a tendency to not show up in strong numbers in the off year elections. They show up to vote for president but not so much the rest of the time. That’s just not going to do it. The 2010 low turnout is one of the reasons we are screwed until at least 2022 because Republicans took over purple states and Gerrymandered Democrats into a minority. More Americans voted for a Democrat than a Republican for the House, but because of the way the districts are drawn the GOP maintains a “majority”. That’s why it’s important.

    Also, voter suppression means we need to volunteer to help older and poor citizens get what they need to be able to vote. They may need a ride to the DMV to get a form of ID. Railing against these horrible laws is not enough. We have to make sure they don’t work. I think this may backfire because the only way to get Americans to do something is to tell them they can’t. Register and vote. Even if people are trying to keep you from doing it. (I had a hell of a time finding the correct polling place for this spring’s primary. They did that on purpose.)

    Anyway, sorry for the rant but people need to be fired up in November and not complacent or defeatist. We can do well if people actually turn out and vote.

  18. Indigo says:

    Sadly enough.

  19. basenjilover says:

    Yes, totally agree with you. And Dems need to stop gloating and get to work if that is at all possible.

  20. basenjilover says:

    Probably FREE health care for life.

  21. nicho says:

    So, you mean the Dems will shift to the right too? Killary in 2016 — just what the country doesn’t need.

  22. nicho says:

    That would be funny, if it weren’t for the fact he will be eligible for a hefty pension, health care for life, and a slam-dunk certain chance of getting a seven-figure lobbying job before the dust settles.

  23. FLL says:

    Thank you for encouraging people to vote in November. If anyone exhorts you to avoid voting for any congressional candidate whose name actually appears on the ballot, please ignore them.

  24. nicho says:

    “Yes, please, throw them all out and put in new ones. We would love nothing more than a Congress full of greenhorns who don’t even know where the bathrooms are – never mind how the system works. We, on the other hand, know exactly how the system works (because we used to work there), we are more than willing to guide the greenhorns, and we have barrels of money (which the greenhorns will need to keep their seats). You just made our job 10,000 times easier. Thank you” –Corporate Lobbyists

  25. jomicur says:

    My thoughts exactly. While I shed no tears for Cantor (who will doubtless have a show on Fox and a lucrative book deal real soon now), anyone assuming his district will move to the left now is making the wildest kind of unwarranted assumption. The only consoloation is that if Brat wins, he won’t have the kind of clout/seniority Cantor has.

  26. The Republican Party is flailing to
    oblivion. As I wrote in my Washington blog,, it’s
    hard to see the upside of the results in the Eric Cantor contest. Cantor, one
    of the most powerful figures in the present-day Republican Party has just lost
    his seat-the first time in history that someone in his position has been tossed
    out by voters in a re-election campaign. Cantor was widely viewed as a likely
    candidate for president in the upcoming presidential season but all that is a
    diminished dream, now that voters have decided to opt for, of all things, the
    Tea Party candidate, a completely unknown and underfunded candidate who
    promised reform in Washington (doesn’t everyone promise reform in

    This means that the voters have sent
    a message to the Republican Party that business as usual will not fly anymore,
    that the Tea Partiers are now in charge and that the Party of Lincoln is now
    the Party of Rand Paul. As in the Party that cannot win a national election in
    2016. As in the Party that is consigning itself to the trash heap of American
    politics. As in the Party that will probably need twenty years to crawl back
    from the fringes of American politics, where it’s clearly heading.

    The issue that got Cantor thrown out
    was immigration reform. Cantor seemed to approve of immigration reform. The Tea
    Party candidate used that issue to write his ticket to Washington. Americans,
    by a very large majority, favor immigration reform. Do we see where this is
    going? The New Republican Party is headed for trouble if they view this
    election as permission to continue on this road. The rest of us can only shrug
    our shoulders and shake our heads in disbelief.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    I hope you’re right but it’s not something we should count on. Encourage everyone to register and vote in November. This could be a long two years if there are more Teavangelical victories this fall.

  28. Houndentenor says:

    Why do liberals keep celebrating the end of the GOP and/or the Tea Party? Every time they do, there’s a victory by one of them, usually a big one. msnbc was gleeful in early 2009 that the GOP was over. A year later they took back the House. Please stop dancing on the graves of political movements that are nowhere near expired.

  29. Houndentenor says:

    Only if, like Cantor, you find selfishness and sociopathy to be virtues.

  30. Houndentenor says:

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire, I’m afraid. Still, I don’t want to interrupt everyone’s moment of Schadenfreude. There’s plenty of time to overthink this after we have more solid data from exit polls, etc. (Rather than the typical panels of self-important uninformed “experts” we get on cable news roundtables.)

  31. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, and that they should be more afraid of pissing of the voters in their district than the big-money donors from out of state that line their pockets.

  32. Houndentenor says:

    My guess would be yes. If this were a statewide race, I’d say no, but in a carefully Gerrymandered red district, it will be Brat’s to lose.

  33. AndyinChicago says:

    What are the chances that Brat will actually get through? Cantor’s district is pretty red, but will even they vote for Brat in the general election?

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  35. Henson says:

    Despite the national media glomming onto the “immigration” storyline, this is essentially a local story. Cantor was an entitled, elitist jerk, tried to pull some shady crap in the state party, made clear his disdain for his local base, and got spanked for it by a no-money nothingburger primary candidate.

  36. heimaey says:

    I wish more politicians were scared of losing their jobs. Since they won’t enact term limits, shake-ups like this are encouraging whether they’re on the right or left. These guys need to be reminded that they are elected and this is not a permanent job.

  37. Con Tradict says:

    They may be regretting the uber-gerrymandering they did. Sure they ensured a red seat in congress – BRIGHT RED – but not including enough moderates in this district screwed Cantor. Good job, guys.

  38. heimaey says:

    Exactly. This is poetic justice.

  39. SkippyFlipjack says:

    I happen to be in Virginia at the moment and some people here suspect that’s what happened. Risky strategy, this whacko might end up winning in Nov

  40. HeartlandLiberal says:

    Lots of evidence emerging Democrats voted crossover in huge numbers to throw Cantor out and elect a loon.

  41. rerutled says:

    Cantor’s defeat will be known as the TEA party’s Parthian shot. With their former financial backers now firmly under the thumb of the Republican Establishment, the TEA party grassroots are in disarray, and fleeing the battlefield. Brat was an arrow over their shoulders, which found its mark.

  42. Blogvader says:

    I dunno, Becca.

    I got a good, up-close look at the race between McCaskill and Todd Akin last year, and I think it works in our favor when Republicans run a true conservative. (Even moreso when they’re openly racist, as I presume this guy to be given the fact that the only issue he seems to care about is ‘amnesty’.)

    The more this monster Republicans have created rears its ugly head, the clearer it is to moderates that they need to vote progressive.

  43. caphillprof says:

    Virginia is already purple

  44. Thom Allen says:

    Cantor rethinks another of his positions.

  45. lynchie says:

    Paul Ryan

  46. Indigo says:

    I’m with that. One lone loon beat out another lone loon. If there’s a message in that, I’m not clever enough to decode it. I actively disliked Cantor, odds are I will dislike Brat equally.

  47. rmthunter says:

    Is there something that’s beneath Cantor?

  48. Indigo says:

    “Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand”? She had any? Good grief!

  49. The_Fixer says:

    This is, to say the least, an interesting situation and I don’t think we can draw any hard and fast conclusions right now.

    Yes, it shows that the Republican party in one state has gone further to the right than they were – at least in terms of people who were willing to vote in a primary. But, we all know that primaries are skewed to the idealogical voter. The general election is what matters, of course.

    Will a Democrat get elected? It largely depends on how Brat conducts himself in the coming months. All it takes is a series of stupid statements and classical gaffes for him to be rendered impotent. I’m not saying that this will definitely happen, but it certainly is a possibility. I know Virginia is a Red state, but a funny thing is happening in the South. What were once formerly solid Red states are turning purple due to changing demographics (more young voters, who are inclined to vote more liberal than their parents).

    I am not making bold predictions here, but can only say that the possibility exists that we may see a Democratic candidate win the General election. Given the current mood toward incumbents, and the demonstrated extreme nature of the Republican party, it may translate into that Democratic win.

    Sit tight, we’ll just have to watch what happens. Although it’s tempting to say that it’s great that Cantor is gone, we really don’t know what’s ultimately going to happen as of right now.

  50. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, but we’re next.

  51. BeccaM says:

    While I’m very glad to see that soul-less sociopath Eric Cantor get the boot, I can’t say I’m super happy with this new pattern of mainline extra-crispy corrupt conservative Republicans being challenged and defeated by crazy-radical far-right wingnuts.

    Our political system only offers — practically speaking — two choices for each elected office. If one is a corporatist neoliberal Democrat and the other is a foaming at the mouth Tea Bagger, guess what’s going to happen, given the ridiculous amount of gerrymandering that’s also tolerated? Significant numbers of these radicals will be elected, and be in positions where they can do vast amounts of damage to the country’s economy, foreign policy, and quite possibly even be able to regress our nation in social policy. (Plus the increasing tendency for Dems to push further and further to the right doesn’t exactly help either.)

    Consider this: We cheer the defeat of the devil we knew, Eric Cantor, but know next to nothing about the man who beat him, David Brat. Well, this is what’s in store for the country:

    There are clues to Mr. Brat’s ideology in his academic CV. His current book project is titled “Ethics as Leading Economic Indicator? What went Wrong? Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition and Human Reason.”

    His other published works include the titles “God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” and “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.”

    That’s right, we seem to be facing the absurd combination of God-botherer and Randian-style libertarian, the sort who glosses right over the fact Rand was an ardent atheist. And a xenophobe, judging from his relentless anti-immigration positions.

    We laugh at loons like Louie Goehmert, Michelle Bachmann, and Alan West — and now David Brat — but just imagine a Congress — and a country — controlled by them. I for one don’t have as much faith as I once did in the checks-and-balances and the bedrock constitutionalism of our system of government, not anymore.

  52. AnitaMann says:

    The monster has devoured its creator.

  53. nicho says:

    If memory serves, Virginia primaries are open, meaning anyone can vote for either party. You have to wonder how many of Brat’s 32,000 votes came from Democrats who wanted to see Cantor lose and who will not vote for Brat in November..

  54. Hue-Man says:

    Cantor/Boehner now understand what happens when you negotiate with (TP) terrorists.

  55. Silver_Witch says:

    I read somewhere (maybe the Kos) that Virginia does not allow the change of alliance so quickly – although he could be a write-in candidate, I can’t imagine him doing that – that would be below him I am sure….

  56. Silver_Witch says:

    Excellent point FLL – I did not consider that fact that one of the most influencial and powerful Republicans is losing his standing/power and “knowledge of how to play the game”.

    I am having a very good laugh – even before this realization. I wish I could have seen his face, or been a fly on the wall. Gosh I hope Mr. Brat has security! He might need it now.

  57. Silver_Witch says:

    I can hear the weeping here in California ….amazing. And as the conservatives continue to eat their own…we can only standby and watch.

  58. FLL says:

    You are so right. Right-wing Republicans from the South still have some safe seats in the US House. I’m just glad they’ll lose their clout if control of the US House flips. By 2016, I’m sure the country will be good and sick of them.

  59. Circ09 says:

    On a National elections level, yeah, I agree. It will take a lot more years to flush them down the toilet on the local level and out of the US House, especially in the South.

  60. FLL says:

    I doubt that. I think this is just a result of how small the Republican base has become. So many people have left the Republican Party that only the wingnuts are left. Presidential election years (such as 2016) make it clear that we are witnessing a demographic tsunami of young voters and Hispanic voters. The Tea Party will drown in that tsunami, taking the few sane Republicans along with them.

  61. crazymonkeylady says:

    Not too sure about that. This could just be the beginning of a tea-party resurgence. This is Bad. Very bad.

  62. FLL says:

    Mass movements will overthrow over two centuries of constitutional government in America, and the Democrat [sic] and Republican parties will become extinct. This glorious triumph will pave the way for the dictatorship of the Shining Path Revolutionary Party of My Mother’s Basement.

    Um… where was I? Yes, Elijah, I think the Republican base has shrunk to the extent that they can be expected to lose in presidential elections. But that’s what happens when your party caters exclusively to elderly white fundamentalist Christians.

  63. Elijah Shalis says:

    Say Hello to President Hillary Clinton or President Warren. The further right the GOP goes the better chance the Dems have.

  64. mwdavis says:

    Okay. Still looks wrong to me, but whatever . . . :-)

  65. Indigo says:

    I can hardly believe that a Tea Party candidate beat him for the nomination. My understanding of his words was that he was speaking Tea Party orthodoxy. Whatever happened? Somebody got further to the right than Cantor? Oh, my! There’s not much of a connection ideologically but this puts me in mind of the Know Nothing Party of the early twentieth century. It was as if they competed to see who was most ignorant of public policy, civil rights, and enlightened constitutionalism. They’re not really gone, are they?

  66. MyrddinWilt says:

    I wonder if this puts the GOP hold on the seat in doubt. Cantor has been winning 60:40 in recent years but a tea party candidate may not be the same draw.

  67. Bill_Perdue says:

    Another Republican/Democrat bites the dust.


  68. Naja pallida says:

    He’s been dancing back and forth, being Boehner’s best friend one day and then undermining him, trying to steal his job, the next. He got exactly what he deserved by standing for nothing.

  69. judybrowni says:

    Best news of the day!

  70. GarySFBCN says:

    The Democrats will have to. . .

  71. judybrowni says:

    Goody goody gumdrops!

  72. Naja pallida says:

    Dictionary says they’re both correct.

  73. Naja pallida says:

    I’m sure there’s a nice cushy lobbyist position waiting for him somewhere. Worst comes to worst, he can always become a Fox Noise contributor. The right is always happy to coddle abject failure.

  74. FLL says:

    Eric Cantor can be relied on to vote on the wrong side of history in virtually every instance, and the same can be said of his Tea Party rival. In fact, the victorious Tea Party candidate is less dangerous than Cantor because he lacks the powerful connections that Cantor has, and most will think of him as a typical Tea Party nutjob and take him less seriously than Cantor. There is no downside to Cantor losing to a laughing-stock wingnut. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  75. bkmn says:

    Couldn’t happen to a bigger asshole. FU Cantor.

  76. trinu says:

    I wish the same thing would happen to spineless Democrat incumbents.

  77. keirmeister says:

    Hat tip to Cooter. His evil plan worked! ;)

  78. Thom Allen says:

    If Cantor tries to run as an independent, the Dems could take the seat. He has such a massive ego, he might just do it.

  79. mwdavis says:

    Partier. (FYI)

  80. Jimmy says:

    Republicans helped create and nurture the Tea Party freaks so it seems appropriate they get bit in the ass by their pet monsters.

  81. barbarajmay says:

    I hope he’s so broke when he loses his job that he can’t afford that awful black hair dye.

  82. douglas01 says:

    Hey Cantor baby, now you will have to get a real job instead of suckling at the tit of tax payers. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Way to go Virginia.

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