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Thursday, June 12, 2014

U.S. House Majority Leader Cantor’s Election Loss: An Analysis

It is not every day that the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives loses—and badly at that—to a primary challenger in an intra-party contest. In the wake of Jim Cantor’s defeat in June, 2014, journalists wasted no time in reducing the defeat to one issue: immigration. Such a reductionist ex-post facto divination of voter intent—as if an electorate were one monolithic mind writ large—is fraught with difficulties. Beyond the sheer artifice, such an interpretation offers an easy cover for less convenient, subterranean political shifts underway and expressed in the vote.