Cantor Campaign Team Blames Dems For Loss
In an interview with The Hill, Eric Cantor’s top campaign aide Ray Allen said Democrats are to blame for the defeat — Democrats who crossed over to meddle in the GOP primary. That’s a far-fetched explanation, and simply not credible as a sole-source answer. Yet, its early in the postmortem phase of the debacle, and Allen deserves to have his opinions validated by actual analysis.
But in the end, it was Cantor’s fault for not having the gut feeling something was amiss. Cantor’s political antennae are finely tuned, and their sensitivity was readily apparent as he methodically climbed the Capitol Hill leadership ladder. Yet locally, his antennae failed him.
Much has been made about the John McLaughlin poll finding Cantor 34 points ahead of David Brat just weeks before the election. Primaries are dynamic, living and breathing entities that require constant monitoring, and Allen at least deserves credit for admitting fault for not going back into the field just once more to assess the situation.
But even then, it may have been too late, and the perfect storm of complacency, inside-the-beltway hubris, and an amateurish meat cleaver negative campaign — among other factors — would sink his effort regardless.
As someone who has gone down to defeat on a high visibility campaign (Clayton Williams’ 1990 loss to Ann Richards in the Texas Governor’s race, where i was the public face of the campaign as press secretary) when we were expected to win, i feel Cantor’s pain, and that of his staff.
The one thing i learned when I got back to DC from Texas? I learned who my real friends were. Now, Cantor will, too.