About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cantor Election Defeat - Postmortem Analysis

"What divides Republicans pales in comparison to what divides us conservatives from the left & the Democratic Party."  Current House Majority Leader, Republican Eric Cantor speaking to reporters June 11, the morning after he lost his VA district primary to economics Professor Dave Brat.  Cantor subsequently resigned his Leadership position effective July 31.
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I always like it when requests for post topics come in & the Cantor defeat brought messages like – "I am hoping you will perform a post op, Cantor - Brat, surgical analysis."
So here goes. 
Dave Brat was a very good Tea Party candidate who caught on @ just the right time & under the right circumstances for his victory.  Eric Cantor was establishment Republican through & through – his district felt (@ least the primary voters did) he was ignoring them to work on national Republican party issues (Cantor was in Washington the morning of the election working on a campaign fund raiser).  In his leadership capacity Cantor pushed both farm & flood insurance bills that were not popular in the district.
As recently as ten days before the primary Cantor's pollster had him comfortably in the lead & expected a turnout of about 45,000 voters.  Since 2006 all Virginia congressional primaries have had a turnout of less than 10% – this primary in district 7 had a turnout of 13.7% or about 20,000 more voters than Cantor's pollster expected & 17,303 more than the 2012 primary in the district.
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Now here is where the timing got bad for Cantor who always was an immigration reformer in general & specifically preferred children who crossed the southern border to become citizens.  It was well known in the district that Cantor had worked on a bill known as the Kids Act that would help undocumented children become citizens.  So when reports started coming in the past few weeks that children from several Central American countries were not only crossing the border from Mexico, but were handing themselves in to border agents immediately after doing so in order to obtain sanctuary under BO's lack of enforcement of immigration laws, it became obvious to even the most hard line statists that we were being made fools of.
Brat tied this altogether with the help of Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, & Ann Coulter who are intensely opposed to illegal immigration.  The radio audiences of Laura & Mark could easily increase the turnout of such a small number of voters – especially since both of them live near the district.  Laura even worked a rally for Brat.
Immigration can be a volatile issue but rarely, if ever, does it play a role in deciding elections except for primaries – primary voters can be aroused by immigration laws not being enforced like now. 
VA's 7th district had been gerrymandered to be more Republican & these new voters were attracted to Brat who had the all important likeability factor going for him.
There was no evidence that Democrats crossed over in any large numbers to vote for Brat in this open primary.
Although Brat is referred to as a Tea Party candidate he did not have any backing from the national Tea Parties – only local Tea Parties.  Cantor raised $5.7 million for the campaign & Brat raised $231,000 with his biggest donator being a Richmond auto body shop.  So much for those who want to limit campaign financing – let the fools waste their money when a real candidate shows up against the ones who have been bought.
Presenting election results in terms of percentage of registered voters provides a very clear picture & David Yost picked up on this as follows:
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Try this sort of analysis in your own district & you will see that every vote really does count especially in primaries.
But getting back to Cantor & his resignation.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy of CA won the House Majority Leader position by secret ballot earlier today.  Although the people of VA's 7th district have a chance for better representation with Brat than they did with Cantor the change in Republican House leadership from Cantor to McCarthy looks less hopeful.  Look @ the graph @ the very top of this post – you will see Cantor right below the center of the bell shaped curve & of the three people who originally expressed interest in the leadership position McCarthy is the one furthest left.
All of this clearly shows the apathy that is pervading our country today when a 13.7% turnout is a significant increase.  It brings to mind the old saying – "Get involved.  The world is run by those who do."  The primary voters in VA's 7th district did.


  1. Doug, I really appreciated your "post mortem" on the Cantor defeat.

  2. Doug - I found your analysis very informative. The days immediately following Cantor’s defeat were filled with carbon copy editorials trying desperately to blame the radical TEA Party members. Your analysis demonstrates Brat was a “regular guy” with concerns only for his country with little support from the TEA Party. Immigration reform, which is a pretty word for amnesty, was no doubt the motivating factor in Cantor’s defeat. I believe the media at large tried to spin Cantor’s defeat away from the amnesty issue into many fragmented somewhat irrelevant issues.

    The most fascinating detail of your publication was the gerrymandering backfire. Cantor made his district more Republican believing this would give him congressional life rights. However, this made his district more conservative effectively opening the door for Brat. I love it when a one’s devious deeds come back to bite them in the ass.