Last night House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his primary to Dave Brat, a tea party backed college professor. Brat beat Cantor with 56% of the vote to Cantor’s 44%, but some in the media have said that Cantor’s position on immigration reform cost him his seat — meaning that Cantor had positioned himself as being more moderate on the issue by supporting the DREAM Act, a bill that would give undocumented youth a pathway to legalization.
A poll released today of registered voters who were polled yesterday in Cantor’s district showed that a majority support immigration reform. 72% of voters in Cantor’s district support the bipartisan immigration bill being considered in Washington with 23% opposing it. 58% of Republicans in this district indicate that it’s ‘very’ important to fix the immigration system this year. That same poll showed that Cantor only had a 30% approval rating.
So it appears that Cantor’s loss had more to do with his performance in the district and perhaps his ties to the establishment than being more tolerant on immigration. Brat maintains that “amnesty” was a differentiator between him and the incumbent Congressman; Brat’s campaign suggested that Cantor supported “amnesty,” while Cantor highlighted his own role in blocking immigration reform in his campaign flyers.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr