The Shock of Virginia: Breaking down Dave Brat’s Victory

How is it that the second most powerful Republican in Congress wa overthrown by an underfunded college professor representing the Tea Party?


Well a couple of reasons really, but for me, one point really stood out from the Huffington Post’s Article. People don’t like Congress and instead of running as a representative for Virginia, Cantor ran as a House Majority Leader. In contrast, Brat positioned himself for the people of Virginia: and they responded.

So how do I, a libertarian lefty (in American terms at least), analyse the victory of David Brat. On one hand the man is a member of the Tea Party, who ran aggressively on immigration and the fact that Cantor responsibly agreed to raise the debt ceiling.

On the other hand (which in this case is a comically oversized foam hand) a guy who raised just $200k managed to overcome an established incumbent who had raised more than $5 million. That’s an incredible victory for the underdog and a sign that not the whole of America can be swayed by the wealth pumped into PACs for established candidates. It’s also a sign that the Republican party is becoming ever more divided over what they stand for. For the past 6 years, it seems that Republican policy has been whatever is the partisan line to take against the Democrats. When Republicans face Republicans though there seems to be a real inconsistency in what their identity should be. This could lead to an election cycle in 2016 which seems some real implosions for the Republicans. This would not only ensure that the Democrats at least have a chance, but could also create a better opposing party creating healthier politics in America in general.

There’s a lot of conjecture in my musings but equally this result was a big landmark in the road to the 2016 election. If we see Chris Christie vs Hilary Clinton as I think we may, Christie’s first job will be defining a route for the Republicans to take  in America as the message from Virginia is that core Republicans are being rejected.