As news regarding the Virginia 7th District Convention happenings made their circles through the media, many on the right wondered - Is this the last straw for Congressman Eric Cantor?
In brief, on May 10th Virginia's 7th District Republicans gathered for their convention. What happened was two-fold. One, long-standing District Chair Linwood Cobb was unseated by Tea Party Conservative Fred Gruber. The significance is that Cobb represents the core part of Cantor's base in the 7th District. Secondly, Cantor's speech at the convention was not well received. He was booed by conservatives and it has been reported by Tom White of Virginia Right blog that Cantor was visibly shaken from such a strong counter response to his remarks.
This is a turning point for Cantor. The Virginia conservative base has long wanted to dethrone Cantor from Washington. Cantor to many conservatives represents a strong connection and buy in to the Republican establishment. Seeing Cantor as part of the Republican establishment that has turned a blind ear to grassroots conservatives. The same Republican establishment that includes John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus and the rest of the Republican hierarchy.
With Cantor's iron grip on the 7th District now somewhat neutralized, It's hard to ignore the saying - Is there blood in the water?
Virginia conservatives will no doubt re-double their efforts for the June 10th Primary between conservative Dave Brat and Cantor.
Should Dave Brat triumph over Cantor, this is still a safe seat for Republicans. Virginia's 7th District has been heavily gerrymandered to protect Cantor in the past. Most all localities include solid red counties with very active, Republican voters. Also, the Democrats chose not to run a candidate this November. So, Brat has a green light as Congressman with a primary win on June 10th.
Bottom line: Cantor's growing distance from his voter base and coziness with the Republican establishment is catching up with him. Now the ball is in Dave Brat's court to win it.