Remember those polls that purported to show that most Republicans, and maybe even most Tea Party members, support amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? I guess the pollsters forgot to survey Republicans in Eric Cantor’s district in central Virginia.
With more than three-quarters of the precincts reporting, Cantor, the House Majority leader, trails David Brat, a college professor, by 56-44. In raw numbers, Cantor is 7,000 votes behind. Thus, it seems very likely that he will lose. [Note: Cantor has, in fact, been defeated]
Cantor won the 2012 primary with 79 percent of the vote. But that was before the Senate passed an immigration bill that included amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and before Cantor seemed to be part of a movement of certain House Republicans towards some form of amnesty. It was also before Cantor urged Republicans to work with President Obama to implement amnesty for children brought into the U.S. illegally.
Either Republicans are less favorably disposed towards amnesty than certain polls have suggested or the Republicans who vote in the primary in Cantor’s congressional district are outliers. And I don’t believe Republican primary voters in Cantor’s district are outliers.
House Republicans, please take note.
JOHN adds: This is an earthquake. House majority leaders have been defeated in general elections on rare occasions, but in a primary? I doubt that it has ever happened. But this result is not entirely out of the blue: I have been getting emails about this race on pretty much a daily basis. Cantor’s defeat is all about immigration. A vast gulf has opened up between certain Republican leaders, like Cantor and Paul Ryan, who seemingly are doing the bidding of corporate interests that would like to drive down wages, and the Republican rank and file. Open borders is a disastrous policy, as we are seeing daily with the current influx of tens of thousands of Central American mothers and children, drawn by rumors of an Obama administration amnesty. Importing tens of millions of new low-wage workers will also be a disaster for everyone whose bottom line won’t be enhanced by lower labor costs. Cantor’s defeat is a wake-up call for all Republicans–and, hey, Democrats too–who would put narrow political advantage above the national interest.