In a stunning upset propelled by tea party activists, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in Tuesday's congressional primary, with insurgent David Brat delivering an unpredicted and devastating loss to the second most powerful Republican in the House who has widely been touted as a future speaker.
Brat's victory gives the GOP a volatile outlook for the rest of the campaign season, with the party establishment struggling late Tuesday to grapple with the news and tea party conservatives relishing a surprising win.
"This is an earthquake," said former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, a friend of Cantor's. "No one thought he'd lose." But Brat, tapping into conservative anger over Cantor's role in supporting efforts to reform federal immigration laws, found a way to combat Cantor's significant financial edge.