House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by an unknown Tea Party candidate in the Republican primary: 56% to 44%. The vote was not close.
Cantor’s polls had predicted a 62% victory. “No problem.”
This has sent the Republican Establishment a message: “You can run, but you can’t hide.”
Those Establishment Republicans who have publicly shrugged off the Tea Party just got a lesson in electoral politics. “There are no more free rides.”
Establishment Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi was forced into a runoff by a Tea Party candidate who beat him. Only because there was a third candidate who got 2% of the votes does Cochran get a one-on-one rematch. He could lose.
The Establishment’s mantra has been “Tea Party candidates do not have clout. They are a fringe minority.”
If you want to understand the Establishment’s reaction, view this.