For the first time in history, a House majority Leader has lost in a primary election. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was defeated by Dave Brat in a single-issue campaign focused on immigration. An economics professor at a local college, Brat spoke persuasively about the impact of immigration on employment and wages. Brat's decisive victory, despite being out spent by one estimate $5 million to $123,000, sends a warning to Republican politicians who ignore public sentiment toward amnesty and massive immigration.
The defeat of the seven-term congressman will certainly have ramifications on the passage of "comprehensive immigration reform", code name for massive immigration and amnesty. The following are comments made shortly after the stunning victory by a non-politician:
- Fox News Political Editor Chris Stirewalt: "Well, I think you can pretty conclusively say that the idea of comprehensive immigration overhaul is dead meat."
- Politico: "Eric Cantor loss kills immigration reform."
- Washington Times: "Mr. Cantor's loss would appear to quash any lingering hope of the Republican-controlled House passing comprehensive immigration reform this year."
- National Journal: "Cantor's loss is also a major defeat for the faint hopes of passing immigration reform in the House."
- Miami Herald: "And amid the ashes of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking defeat Tuesday, comprehensive immigration reform smolders."
- Los Angeles Times: "The odds of Congress fixing the country's broken immigration laws just went from slim to none."
- Business Insider: "IT’S OFFICIAL: Immigration Reform Is Dead".