Will immigration reform survive Eric Cantor’s loss?
National Catholic Reporter (NCR) | Michael Sean Winters | Jul. 12, 2014:
In a nation of more than 318 million, 36,110 people are a very small sliver of the electorate. But that is all it took to send shockwaves through Washington, D.C., in June, when those 36,110 people in one Virginia congressional district cast ballots for tea party challenger David Brat, compared to only 28,898 who voted for incumbent House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. For the first time in history, a majority leader has lost a primary election.
The pundit class immediately concluded that Cantor was defeated because he was not sufficiently opposed to comprehensive immigration reform. It is true that Brat hammered Cantor on the issue, suggesting that Cantor said one thing in the district and another in Washington. But the idea that Cantor lost on this one issue did not square with the fact that voters in South Carolina’s Republican Party primary overwhelmingly voted for Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had actually voted for the Senate immigration reform legislation. South Carolina Republican primary voters are not exactly a bastion of liberal sentiment.
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