Skip to main content

(H/t to Drocedus.)

In the hours since Dave Brat's upset of Eric Cantor - the first time a sitting House Majority Leader has lost his primary election - there has been much talk of "How Did This Happen?"  

How did a guy Cantor outspent by forty to one beat him?  Was it just rabid conservatives devouring the man they once lauded, as the conventional wisdom insists?

Or was it, in fact, a Cooter d'Etat?

Follow me across the fold.

There are clues everywhere.  The key is how to interpret them.

First, we have Ben "Cooter" Jones, who Cantor defeated back in 2002 when Jones tried to get back into Congress, calling for Virginia Democrats to cross over and vote for Brat in the 2014 Republican primary.

Next, we have the fact that Cantor outspent Brat by a factor of forty to one ($5 million to $122,000) and still lost.

Finally, we have the curious pattern (and relatively large number as it turns out) of votes in VA-07.  Of the four county-level areas that Cantor won, three -- Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper -- were the most conservative parts of his district. (The other was his tiny chunk of the City of Richmond.) Whereas the large, and more liberal counties surrounding Richmond -- New Kent, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Louisa -- all went for Brat, with Hanover making an especially strong showing.  

Since when does a Tea Partier lose the most conservative parts of a CD and win the most liberal?  When large numbers of Democrats are crossing over to vote for him as a way to screw Cantor.

So now, instead of facing an entrenched establishment Republican able to command millions of dollars at the snap of his fingers, the Democrat that will run in the general, Jack Trammell, will be facing a guy who will be lucky to get more than $2 million out of the Republican establishment.

Pass. The. Popcorn!

UPDATE:  More evidence it was a Cooter d'Etat:  VA-07 Democratic crossover voters speak!

UPDATE 2:  As JackND says in the comments, how else do you explain a forty-point swing?  Cantor's own internal polling had him up by thirty percentage points - yet he lost by around ten.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, smartone, Thumb, RobertInWisconsin, Angie in WA State, Joe Bob, Sylv, jazzmaniac, murphy, MouseThatRoared, jazzizbest, Wintermute, mslat27, Pompatus, polecat, Sandy on Signal, Matilda, Creosote, JLFinch, afox, cskendrick, whenwego, sngmama, ctsteve, Quege, Texknight, Getreal1246, emmasnacker, TexDem, Bulldawg, HeyMikey, NYFM, papercut, dkmich, zerelda, ybruti, Ckntfld, stlawrence, TenThousandThings, MT Spaces, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Gary Norton, eru, majcmb1, SaraBeth, jane123, kaliope, brentut5, bunsk, peacestpete, kkjohnson, bently, begone, MadGeorgiaDem, elliott, myboo, Ky DEM, seefleur, Prognosticator, Lefty Coaster, JCWilmore, Rosaura, real world chick, middleagedhousewife, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, kurious, markthshark, xenopus17, cpresley, Sapere aude, Loudoun County Dem, Mr K, Positronicus, puakev, yoduuuh do or do not, LillithMc, Mary Mike, wildweasels, Matt Z, deepeco, SeaTurtle, Assaf, keyscritter, TomP, Empower Ink, MKinTN, Phil N DeBlanc, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Senor Unoball, Involuntary Exile, NewDealer, CDH in Brooklyn, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, Missys Brother, Jeff Y, toom, statsone, maggiejean, cybrestrike, MufsMom, J M F, lilsky, earicicle, kevinpdx, Keith Pickering, metro50, biggiefries, BenderRodriguez, Polly Syllabic, samanthab, pixxer, kacemo, anonevent, DiegoUK, Yasuragi, slice, Onomastic, annominous, nervousnellie, La Gitane, OldGrammy, FarWestGirl, mikejay611, marleycat, PorridgeGun, Ricochet67, thomask, BarackStarObama, LeftCoastTom, bluedust, sound of progress, disconnect the dots, Andrew F Cockburn, DRo, Chitown Kev, Rashaverak, Only Needs a Beat, KiB, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, AnnieR, a2nite, dog in va, Forward is D not R, parakeet, wxorknot, raina, Dallas L, Linda1961, ggfkate, ET3117, Demeter Rising, Mike Kahlow, duhban, OregonWetDog, SamLoomis, richardvjohnson, gnothis, LiberalLoner, paulex, Yoda54, PurpleElectric

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site