Speed Reads


Did Eric Cantor lose because he's Jewish?

No one saw it coming, and we're still trying to figure out how exactly House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) ended up losing his seat in a stunning upset to David Brat, an economics professor aligned with the Tea Party. But one theory that has been floated is that Cantor, the only Jew in the House majority, may have been out of step with his increasingly homogenous district.

David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally out of step with a redrawn district that was more rural, more gun-oriented, and more conservative.

"Part of this plays into his religion," Mr. Wasserman said. "You can't ignore the elephant in the room." [The New York Times]

If true, this could be a big problem for a party that has struggled to broaden its tent.