Cantor's Defeat And The GOP: Does It Foreshadow A Tea Party Resurgence?

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on June 10. Cantor spoke to the media after attending a closed meeting with House Republicans.  In an unexpected upset, Cantor was later defeated by Tea Party challenger David Brat in Virginia's congressional primary. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tea Party advocates are feeling empowered this morning after the unexpected defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary.

The victory not only highlights ongoing tensions between moderate and conservative factions within the GOP, but could also foreshadow Tea Party victories in other key races, including the much-watched senate runoff in Mississippi between six-term Senator Thad Cochran and Tea Party favorite, State Senator Chris McDaniel.

The former chairman of Tea Party Express announced last night that Republicans must “take notice that the Tea Party movement’s not dead.” But not every GOP strategist is convinced that last night’s results will reverberate outside Virginia.

Among them is Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster and consultant whose clients have included Senators Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander and Lindsey Graham. He joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to give his perspective on the race, and the challenges facing the Republican party.

Also joining Jeremy  is NPR politics editor Charlie Mahtesian, who will give a broader picture of the significance of last night’s vote.


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