David Brat – an economics professor from a small private college in Virginia – didn’t exactly look like the kind of candidate who brings down a political Goliath.
Unlike other insurgent candidates who upset establishment favorites, Brat didn’t have the backing of moneyed national conservative organizations. He was outgunned in fundraising by an eye-popping margin, and he was widely expected to lose with little fanfare to a man with his eye on the Speaker’s gavel.
So just how dramatic was Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat? Here’s a breakdown of the contrast between the two campaigns, by the numbers:
Cantor’s campaign was simply – bigger. By a lot.
$5,447,290 - total amount raised by Eric Cantor
$206,663 – total amount raised by Dave Brat
$168,637 - Amount spent by Cantor at two D.C. area steakhouses
$122,793 – Total amount spent by Brat’s entire campaign
1,037 - broadcast TV ads aired in the district by Eric Cantor
65 - ads aired by Brat
$2.1 million – contributions from PACs to Cantor
$0 – contributions from Pacs to Brat
The primary saw much higher turnout than Cantor’s 2012 race against opponent Floyd Bayne, but Cantor received fewer votes.
28,898 – number of votes Cantor received in the 2014 primary race.
(Total number of votes cast = 65,008)
37,369 – number of votes Cantor received in the 2012 primary race
(Total number of votes cast = 47,037)
34 – number of points Cantor’s pollster said he was leading by before Tuesday’s election
10 – number of points Cantor by which Cantor lost
And the loss wasn’t just big, it was historic.
24 – The number of majority leaders who have served since the position was created in 1899; Cantor is the first to lose to a primary opponent
22 – Years of political experience for Eric Cantor (Va. House, U.S. House)
0 – Years of political experience for Dave Brat
NBC’s Frank Thorp contributed