With Black Votes, Democrats May Win Eric Cantor’s House Seat

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) listens as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press availability at the U.S. Capitol June 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.  WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) listens as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press availability at the U.S. Capitol June 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.
WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

Pundits, prognosticators and backseat-driving know-it-alls are chatting up everything you need to know about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) karma-driven primary loss Tuesday night, with politicos scrambling to understand David Brat: a once-puckish Tea Party upstart and Cantor twin with only $200,000 in the bank who managed to unseat the second most powerful cat in the House armed with $5 million plus. 

But, the Spidey sense should buzz after those third-eye folks parse through Brat’s cleverly coded victory speech. The college professor wants to “… move the pendulum … back to the states, back to the localities” and push loaded stuff like raw constitutionalism with “free market and Judeo-Christian principles.”

Translated for a state that was once the Confederate capital, states’ rights nostalgia equals Voter-ID restrictions; Judeo-Christian principles means Bible-thumping; and free market sounds like predatory lending and sticking it to the working and middle class.

That’s reason enough that African-American voters in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District should and can try to win that seat back for Democrats.

Black voters are the decisive key to a general election upset that’s as tectonic-plate-shifting as Brat’s primary sucker punch. At the moment, though, the Dems seem satisfied to gleefully stomp on Cantor’s political grave. Stuck on conventional wisdom that’s similar to those “establishment” Republican rivals who got punked by Brat, Democratic strategists have already resigned Virginia’s 7th to its red-state faithful.

That would be a mistake, though, and a nasty face palm to a rather robust black Virginia electorate. While it’s overwhelmingly white, Cantor’s district is also nearly 20 percent black, according to Census Bureau data—in line with Virginia’s overall population. The state’s changing fast, and it’s creating all sorts of creative voting blocs of color—a major reason President Barack Obama won it in 2008 and 2012.

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Source: The Root | 

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