I have been thinking about Eric Cantor’s loss today and whether it was as big of a win for the Tea Party as it is being touted. I don’t think so.
I think Cantor was a victim of playing both sides against the middle politics, being arrogant and out of touch with his district…like Oberstar’s loss…and terrible internal GOP polling.
Cantor was one of the first mainstream Republican leaders to embrace the Tea Party. He used those folks to further his own leadership ambitions, I am sure at the expense of more moderate Republicans, including home district party leadership and delegates, thus ticking off his district’s moderate Republicans. Then, he misinterpreted the Tea Party message that policy and ideological purity is not negotiable when he decided to be a moderating factor in Washington D.C. on several issues including, but not limited to immigration reform. Therefore, raising the ire of the Tea Party.
I believe that his loss is not about Tea Party strength and immigration reform , but is a case of “a house divided against its self cannot stand.” He had both sides voting against him, moderate Republicans and Tea Party. It’s called revenge voting and would explain the 11 point spread.
This loss is a boon for Democrats, even though the Tea Party will probably win that Virginia seat, if the Dems can capitalize on the anti-immigrant Tea Party policies to galvanize Latino support in the fall elections. Just Saying.