Dr. Stephen Farnsworth. Photo provided by UMW.

Farnsworth: Cantor’s Loss ‘Very, Very Big Deal’

by | Dec 13, 2014 | Government

By Susan Larson

Eric Cantor’s loss in Virginia is going to create a very difficult environment for more moderate Republicans, said Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor at the University of Mary Washington.

“The real lesson that most Republicans are going to take from this is that you simply cannot compromise,” Farnsworth told CTV News. “Cantor had tried to work with Democrats and more moderate Republicans on immigration reform, above all, and that was part of his undoing.”
Watch the complete CTV News interview.
Cantor was punished for his attempt at cooperation, Farnsworth said.   “[T]he Tea Party element of the Republic Party decided they’d had enough and they cast their lot for a very unknown figure in Virginia politics.”

That unknown figure is Tea Party favorite David Brat.  Brat received 55.55 percent of the vote (36,110 votes) to Cantor’s 44.45 percent (28,898 votes) in Virginia’s 7th District, according to the Virginia Board of Elections.

“The Tea Party message above all is no cooperation, no way, with Barack Obama,” Farnsworth said. “You’ll see more votes to shut down health care – although that’s not going to happen because Obama will veto such a bill – and you’ll see more and more rhetoric. This is going to create a very difficult environment for Republicans in statewide elections, those senate seats, and looking forward to 2016 the message that gets you the Republican nomination is not necessarily the message that can get you elected in a general election where the voters are so much more moderate.”

The November 4, 2014, General Election 7th District race will be between Republican Brat,  Democrat Jack Trammell, Libertarian James Carr and write-in candidate Mike Dickinson. Both Brat and Trammell are professors at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va.

What do you think about the primary results?  Tell us in the comments section.

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