House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost last night for one simple reason: he didn’t listen to the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill when he said “All politics is local.”
Local: that would be Cantor’s 7th Congressional district. Mitt Romney won that district by 15 points. Cantor drew his own district in the last round of redistricting and made it way more conservative than before. And then, he didn’t really go back. Last night, while Cantor was in Washington, DC voting and holding fundraisers, he lost his seat.
I spoke with a Republican House staffer and her response was: “it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.” That’s not a compliment.
Many are saying Cantor lost because the “Tea Party” aka his conservative base didn’t trust him. That’s very true. A new PPP poll out this morning shows him at 30% approval. That poll also tells us immigration reform is popular with 72% of his 7th Congressional District voters. Many are saying he lost because of that issue. I highly doubt that was the main cause.
In the end, he wasn’t home. Hell he wasn’t even home on Election Day. If you can’t be home on that day, exactly when should you be home?
Members of Congress and Senators should beware. The electorate is very angry right now. If Cantor can go down in double digits, then many others can too.