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Virginia Democrats say their congressional map can’t get any worse.
In a state President Barack Obama carried twice, their party holds just three seats in the 11-member delegation. With a new round of redistricting coming up next month, the question now is which districts get rougher for Republicans. Full story
While Brat is the heavy favorite to win in Virginia’s solidly Republican 7th District in November, he would start his congressional career with a bull’s-eye on his back from fellow Richmond-area Republicans.
And with state legislative elections falling in odd years, anyone who wanted to wage a primary bid against Brat in 2016 would get a free pass — able to keep their positions in the state Senate and House of Delegates.
Updated 5:25 p.m. | After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss in Virginia Tuesday night, national GOP operatives are barreling through the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, and now bargaining — looking for answers on his out-of-the-blue political death.
Their fingers are, in part, pointed directly at McLaughlin & Associates, the Republican polling firm behind the wildly incorrect survey on Cantor’s race. In his poll conducted at the end of May, Cantor had a 34-point lead over college professor David Brat.
Two weeks later, Cantor faced a 12-point drubbing.
National Democrats are considering competing for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s House seat in the unlikely case the Virginia Republican runs as a write-in candidate in November.
On Tuesday evening, Cantor lost his primary to college professor David Brat in one of the most shocking defeats in modern political history.
The nascent Democratic efforts include outreach out to the Democratic nominee, college professor Jack Trammell, according to knowledgeable Democratic sources.
Virginia’s 7th District is solid Republican territory. Cantor won his 2012 general election by 17 points, while Mitt Romney carried the seat by 15 points. But Democrats see a path to victory there if Cantor wages a write-in campaign and splits the Republican vote.
At the same time, local Republicans telegraphed that a Cantor write-in candidacy is unlikely.
Here are a few fun facts about the largely unknown Republican who took out the majority leader:
1. Brat is the chairman of the Department of Economics and Business at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. He has been a professor there since 1996, teaching courses including Macroeconomics, Economic Development and Economic Justice.
2. Brat has a Ph.D. in economics from American University, which he earned in 1995. He also has a master’s in Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J., and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hope College in Holland, Mich., according to his CV.
3. He wants term limits for all members of congress, he told Glenn Beck.
4. Brat is a talented competitor in “pickleball,” a sport that Mike Carter, a former colleague at Randolph-Macon College, described to Richmond Magazine as “a racquetball sport that combines the elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis, and is played on an area that’s the size of a badminton court.”
“Eric Cantor isn’t the only incumbent from Virginia who is going to lose his primary this year,” said Milton Wolf, a physician who has raised residency questions in his challenge to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. “On August 5, it’s Pat Roberts’ turn.”
“What we have seen tonight in Virginia shows that no race should be taken for granted and all the money and position in the world doesn’t resonate with an electorate that is fed up with a Washington establishment that has abandoned conservative principles,” said Joe Carr, a state legislator taking on Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. “From Virginia to Mississippi, a transformational change is underway that is being led by a true grassroots movement.” Full story
Former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer handily defeated a crowded Democratic primary field Tuesday night in a win that will almost certainly send him to Congress next year in this Arlington-based district.
In a crowded field, Beyer defeated his next closest primary opponent, state Del. Patrick Hope, 45 percent to 20 percent, with 67 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
He is now the favorite to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran in this district, which voted for President Barack Obama with 68 percent in 2012.
But Beyer’s win was largely overshadowed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia’s 7th District. Cantor lost to a underfunded tea party opponent David Brat by a large margin.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became the first person in American history to lose his primary while holding that position. He lost Tuesday night to a poorly-funded GOP opponent in the biggest electoral stunner in several cycles.
College professor David Brat defeated Cantor, 56 percent to 44 percent, with 80 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
“I know there’s a lot of long faces here tonight,” Cantor told assembled supporters Tuesday night, with his wife standing by his side. “It’s disappointing sure, but I believe in this country, I believe there’s opportunity around the next corner for all of us.
“So, I look forward to continuing to fight with all of you for the things that we believe in for the conservative cause, because those solutions of ours are the answer to the problems that so many people are facing today.”
It is extremely rare for a member of House leadership to lose — especially in a primary. The most recent majority leader or speaker to lose re-election was the late Democratic Speaker Tom Foley of Washington. But he lost in a general election in the 1994 Republican wave.
After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.
Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.
Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.
Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)
California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:
Recent fundraising reports filed Thursday for June 10 primaries give a glimpse of where those races stand, 10 days in advance.
On June 10, there will be House primaries in Maine and Virginia, where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor faces his most serious primary threat yet — although most Republicans expect him to prevail with a large margin.
Here’s what the reports, which cover the fundraising period from April 1 to May 21, show:
Here is what cut through the clutter today:
This is, perhaps, the best ad of the entire cycle from former state Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R). He is giving Rep. John Tierney (D) a very serious challenge, but we cannot imagine a better way to close out a campaign in the overloaded Boston TV market, even if it is a small cable buy: