David Brat, a little-known Tea Party professor, one conclusion is clear: Republicans will be more opposed to immigration reform than ever. Daily Kos put it correctly: "Republicans had already deep-sixed any immigration legislation; now, they'll blast it into outer space and compete Hunger Games-style to see who can be the most anti-immigrant loudmouth of them all." Indeed, immigration was the focus of the race, with both candidates trying to come across as more anti-reform than the other. Apparently, Brat convinced the electorate that Cantor was too "liberal" on the issue:
Cantor had previously supported a "Dream Act"-like proposal to provide a path to citizenship for children who were brought to the United States illegally. "One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents," Cantor said in a speech a year ago. "It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home."
In his long-shot campaign, Brat attacked Cantor on that stance. "Eric Cantor is saying we should bring more folks into the country, increase the labor supply - and by doing so, lower wage rates for the working person," Brat charged.
To protect his right flank on immigration, Cantor sent out mailers saying he led the fight against President Obama's “amnesty” -- that is, comprehensive immigration reform that had passed the Senate a year ago.
But as Tuesday's Virginia primary proved, that ultimately wasn't enough.