Beltway-based groups also spent heavily in the race. The American Chemistry Council, whose members include many blue chip companies, spent more than $300,000 on TV ads promoting Cantor. It’s the group’s only independent expenditure so far this election year. Political arms of the American College of Radiology, the National Rifle Association and the National Association of Realtors had five-figure independent spending to promote Cantor.
Brat has accused the House majority leader of being a top cheerleader for “amnesty” for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Cantor has responded forcefully by boasting in mailers of blocking Senate plans “to give illegal aliens amnesty.”
It was a change in tone for Cantor, who has repeatedly voiced support for giving citizenship to certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. Cantor and House GOP leaders have advocated a step-by-step approach rather than the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate.
Mickey Kaus cites Professor Brat’s final pitch to voters:
“The entire amnesty and low-wage agenda collapses if Cantor loses — all the billions of special interests dollars, all the favors, all the insider dealing — all of it is stopped in its tracks tomorrow if the patriotic working families of Virginia send Eric Cantor back home tomorrow.
Here’s Brat’s list of publications from his faculty webpage.
The NYT reports:
In one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, was soundly defeated on Tuesday by a Tea Party-backed economics professor who had hammered him for being insufficiently conservative.
Mr. Cantor’s defeat delivered a major jolt to the Republican Party — he had widely been considered the top candidate to succeed Speaker John A. Boehner one day — and it has the potential both to change the debate in Washington on immigration and to reshape the midterm elections, which had been favoring his party.
With just over $200,000, David Brat — a professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. — toppled Mr. Cantor, repeatedly criticizing him for being soft on immigration and contending that he supported what critics call amnesty for immigrants in the country illegally. The Associated Press declared Mr. Brat the winner.
Mr. Cantor, who is in his sixth term, had sought to rebut Mr. Brat’s charges on immigration, using some of his $5.4 million to send fliers and air television ads in which he claimed to oppose an “amnesty” policy. But with significant help from conservative talk radio figures such as Laura Ingraham, Mr. Brat was able to galvanize opposition to Mr. Cantor in one of Virginia’s most conservative congressional districts.
Here’s Laura Ingraham’s website.
Here are Brat’s undergrad students comments from RateMyProfessors.com.