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    Eric Cantor: Laura Ingraham attacks cheapened the debate

    Eric Cantor: Laura Ingraham attacks cheapened the debate

    Understanding the reasons for the loss is the first challenge for establishment Republicans.

    Defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) hit the Sunday news programs this morning in a curt manner and seemed to lay some blame for his loss on radio talk show host Laura Ingraham cheapening the debate.

    Laura took it in stride.

    But is the Republican Party serious about finding answers following the Cantor defeat? Grassroots Republicans and conservatives still express doubt if the party has even learned the right lessons from its 2012 loss.

    Salena Zito tries to help the Republican Party establishment today with peeling back the onion on what is going on in America. Zito is correct — there is a rise of populism and Dave Brat tapped into that vein during his campaign against Cantor:

    When Eric Cantor lost his primary race Tuesday, it wasn’t because he wasn’t conservative enough for his base. It wasn’t because of the Republicans’ tea party element. It had nothing to do with immigration reform, or some Democrat conspiracy to flood the polls. And it was not driven by right-wing talk-radio hosts or operatives from Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Citizens United or ForAmerica (which claimed Cantor’s defeat was an “apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment”).
    This was a complicated recipe, according to Republican strategist Bruce Haynes.

    “There were more than four-and-twenty blackbirds baked into this pie,” Haynes said, adding that ultimately the loss had everything to do with Cantor: He lost touch with his constituency; he became too Washington, too associated with the D.C.-bubble brand; he forgot how to relate and to be that guy from his district.

    A common thread weaves Cantor’s race to others, said Haynes, “and it’s populism.”

    It is a cautionary thread — yet most people in Washington do not understand this moderate-in-tone populist wave. First, the wave is not going to take out every incumbent, so no “secret sauce” can “fix” it; second, it will have broad impact on both parties; third, it is relatively invisible because it has no name, no brand or party allegiance.

    The other thing Dave Brat did very effectively and efficiently was to target voters that were outside of the normal Republican primary cohort:

    Adler says Brat’s campaign used rVotes to expand its universe beyond the traditional Virginia GOP primary voters being targeted by Rep. Eric Cantor’s campaign. Adler, who previously told C&E he as an apolitical “computer guy” when VAN was founded, said several Tea Party campaigns had donated their data to Brat to allow him to expand his targeting universe.

    “Now, suddenly he had access to hundreds if not thousands of different codes,” said Adler. “Funky stuff like anything from ‘voter owns only American cars’ to ‘known patriot group member’ to ‘voter flies a flag’ or ‘voter has an NRA sticker on their car.’ They were aggressively using the system to microtarget.”

    Brat spent only $1,500 for using rVotes — about 1 percent of his total campaign’s budget. Adler said the campaign worked out a deal to buy a full membership, which can run as high as $20,000, if Brat won the primary.

    If Eric Cantor — and in turn, Reince Prebius and the rest of the national Republicans — don’t correctly identify the causes of why he lost, they are doomed to be surprised again and again. Not only in GOP primaries but in general elections against better-positioned and smarter Democrat candidates.


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    NeoConScum | June 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Eric: Instead of stepping willingly on that MSM-Liberal nitwit question, how’bout you had responded with: “You stupid media twits want me to trash talk my own folks, huh? Get serious, Mister Host Guy.”

    Estragon | June 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    He lost because of immigration, period. It’s not rocket science.

    Now, it is harder to poll House district primaries, especially in districts without a history of competitive races. But every single poll from every single firm showed Cantor with a big lead. They were not all wrong, Brat had a late surge.

    Why? Several reasons, all of which are Cantor’s fault. First of all, he misused his money advantage by attacking Brat, who had little. This gave Brat free name recognition and instant status as a contender (else why attack him?) he could not have achieved on his own.

    Then, Cantor continued his wishy-washy immigration stance, specifically endorsing a Dream Act-like bill “for the kids.”

    Laura Ingraham brought her show to Richmond for a rally which generated huge publicity and momemtum.

    Finally, news began to break of the flood of young illegals streaming in as word spread that Obama would let them all stay, just over a week before voting. It underlined the Brat/Ingraham argument perfectly.


    Cantor held a lifetime ACU rating of 96, the House Republican average is 76.5. So the idea he will be replaced by “a more conservative Majority Leader” is frankly just stupid.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | June 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      “So the idea he will be replaced by “a more conservative Majority Leader” is frankly just stupid.”

      What is stupid is when supporters of the GOP establishment STILL don’t get it, even while condescendingly ‘explaining’ it all to the rest of us.

      The voters weren’t voting for House Majority Leader, they were voting Cantor out in favor of a another, new conservative House District Representative. It was based on policy and principles, immigration included, but namely the practice of having the same principles after a successful election campaign as one claimed during the campaign. It was a district primary, not a congressional leadersip vote. The GOP will no doubt elevate Kevin McCarthy to ML, to protect the GOP establishment from the wolves at the door collectively called “the base.”

      But we just keep coming. Tick, tick, tick…..

        Estragon in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        Okay, smart guy: NAME the “more conservative than Cantor” member of the House who could be elected Majority Leader.

          Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | June 16, 2014 at 10:09 am

          Raul Labradore

          (You might say that’s impossible, but…Brat…)

          Lady Penguin in reply to Estragon. | June 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

          Really, Cantor lost because of “immigration, period.” That’s a laugh and a half and a lie to boot. As a Virginian living in adjacent Congressional District to the 7th, it’s with great pleasure that I inform you and any other deliberately obtuse or trolling folks about Eric Cantor lost. Short answer: he became of DC politician instead of a representative and statesman.

          Now for a longer answer: Eric Cantor and his Young Guns became a household name around the state of Virginia as he tried to strong-arm and muscle his way into local GOP elections. It was called slating, and it’s whole purpose was to suppress the grassroots voter in the party. Do not make the mistake that we’re only talking “tea party” folks, that’s a silly meme the Establishment and Democrats make. No matter, that was just the beginning but it stirred up the grassroots across the state. Taken with the fact that Cantor had been losing popularity for a number of years in his district and the despicable campaign he ran against Brat only added fuel to the fire.

          Cantor simply was the poster-boy for the arrogance of DC.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | June 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

          You still don’t get it. You’re conflating the House District primary election with the elction of the next House Majority Leader. Cantor was not voted out of ML, he was voted out of his district’s primary. He’ll resign the ML accordingly.

          “So the idea he will be replaced by “a more conservative Majority Leader” is frankly just stupid.”

          Please name one person who said Cantor has to be voted out so we can have a more conservative ML? his constituents voted him out on some mixture of two major faults: ignoring constituent services and talking soft on immigration during an immigration crisis. His loss had nothing to do with his ML.

          I could care less about polls and ratings. Conservative is as conservative does, and Cantor simply isn’t. He’s an establishment hack with principles made of rubber and values made of tin.

    redc1c4 | June 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    i didn’t know RINOs would whine…

    i thought they just snorted?

    tmiker | June 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Ha. Laura Ingraham makes a joke and Cantor says “its not serious and it cheapens the debate”. Death spiral of a rudderless beltway insider.

    Henry Hawkins | June 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Cantor whines like a shopkeeper who paid his protection money to the local gang and got burned out anyway. Lie down with dogs…

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