According to The Post, Brat thought that "once he got buy-in from them, his poorly funded campaign could quickly become a rally point for conservatives in Virginia and elsewhere who are frustrated with Cantor and the House Republican leadership." He hoped to capitalize on growing resentment toward Cantor on issues ranging from immigration reform to Obamacare.
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Yet when Brat failed to show up for either event, many Republicans wrote him off as a loser who would get swamped by the House majority leader. Cantor had spent $5 million on his reelection campaign compared to just $206,000 for Brat. The Tea Party challenger's aides later pleaded that Brat had "academic obligations" the week before finals that kept him away, but it seemed like a lame excuse.
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In hindsight, Brat had no need for that outside financial assistance. Tuesday night he stunned the political world by toppling Cantor in the GOP primary race in Virginia's 7th Congressional District — throwing the House GOP leadership into chaos and likely instilling fear in the hearts of scores of more moderate or establishment Republicans around the country.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Brat beat Cantor 56 percent to 44 percent, in a congressional district including the highly conservative suburban areas of Richmond.