Eric Cantor’s Defeat: Winners and Losers

by Joel Gehrke

In no particular order.


1) Dave Brat, the college professor and political novice who pulled off the first primary upset of a House majority leader since 1899.

2) Tea-party activists nationwide, whose efforts to move Republican-party leaders to the right received a morale boost and a fundraising hook.

3) Conservative talk-radio host Laura Ingraham, who supported Brat when most political types assumed Cantor would roll to another victory.

5) Representative Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), whose chances of succeeding House speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) just got a whole lot better.

6) Representative Peter Roskam (R., Kan.), who has a solid chance of replacing Representative Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) as whip if McCarthy takes Cantor’s job.


1) House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) who was on the wrong end of a historic defeat.

2) Any pundit who said the Tea Party is dead.

3) Comprehensive-immigration-reform proponents.

4) Representative Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican tasked with managing immigration bills at the Judiciary Committee level.

5) Republican incumbents everywhere, who have just been reminded that every primary is a dangerous challenge.

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