A Dramatic Defeat: Cantor v. Brat, By The Numbers

 / Updated 
Image: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks during a news conference on June 10.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol, on June 10, 2014 in Washington.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

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

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news