In a Republican primary election last night, challenger Dave Brat, a college professor, defeated incumbent House majority leader Eric Cantor.
The upset is making headlines, with some calling the defeat the end of immigration reform on Capitol Hill. Others are focusing on the 26-to-1 cash advantage Cantor had over Brat.
Cantor raised $5.5 million during the election cycle- with help from the American Chemistry Council, the American College of Radiology, the National Rifle Association, and the National Association of Realtors. Brat, who had a budget of $200,000, was still able to defeat Cantor despite the enormous difference in funds.
A major factor that worked against Cantor in this election cycle- and prevented Brat from needing to spend an outrageous amount of money- was that Cantor was seen by the Republican party as an obstacle to shutting down immigration reform.
The House majority leader supported fixing the immigration system through measures such as border security and legal status for young undocumented immigrants. His position was criticized by Brat as a means of allowing for cheap labor that will allow for lower wages.
Although the White House was mostly quiet after the loss Tuesday night, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer wrote “Cantor’s problem wasn’t his position on immigration reform, it was his lack of a position” on Twitter. Obama former deputy press secretary Bill Burton, also commented on the outcome saying that “His absence makes Congress a better place.”