5 take-aways from Cantor loss
1. All politics is local. Eric Cantor toured the country on a near-weekly basis, raising money for colleagues he thought could help him become House speaker and paid the price for ignoring his district.
2. All politics is transactional. He didn’t build the kind of deep, enduring relationships he needed. He is smart and strong and creates a great first impression, but his cutthroat ways wore people out over time.
3. Its has become harder to be a House member. Cantor couldn’t shower his district with federal money, a traditional way to win loyalty of constituents, because the Republican-led House banned earmarks.
4. Polls and ads don’t matter much. Two polls showed Cantor up by double-digit margins – but those polls didn’t reflect the electorate that voted in the primary. His big ads mattered less than tea party fervor.
5. People will overreact. GOP lawmakers will shy away from immigration and other tough issues. Pundits will predict a tea party wave. This is just one shocking primary in one conservative Virginia district.