The Cantor effect: What it means for Arizona - KMSP-TV

The Cantor effect: What it means for Arizona

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - There's going to be a big shakeup in Republican leadership in Congress. It involves Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was defeated by a little-known rival with Tea Party support in Tuesday's primary in Virginia.

He has told colleagues he intends to resign his leadership post on July 31.

Nobody saw this coming.

"Well, I think the world was really shocked.  It has historically not happened before to the Majority Leader of the Congress, so there is a lot of soul searching going on right now," said Tim Sifert of the Arizona Republican Party.

One big factor: Cantor showed some support for the Dream Act, alienating some Republican voters.

Americans for Prosperity in Arizona, a backer of Tea Party causes, had this to say:

"The Cantor defeat shows how important the grassroots is.  If you're an establishment candidate with a lot of money, but you're out of touch with the grassroots, you may be in trouble."

What is the Arizona Democratic Party's take on all this?  Basically, opposing the Dream Act might get you through a primary, but in the long run, it is a losing strategy.

"Well, I think it was a big win for the Tea Party and it shows the Republican Party base still has a problem with immigration reform.  They are pushing the party to the right and they will have a problem in the general election," said DJ Quinlan of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the broken immigration system remains broken.

"It is unfortunate that even though the majority of the public supports the Dream Act and immigration reform, we have a minority defining the issue because it was just the primary," said Dulce Matuz of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.

What else does the defeat of Eric Cantor mean?  It could prevent any agreement on immigration going into the 2016 Presidential election.  And with the growing base of Latino voters, who voted 3 to 1 Democratic for President last time, that might not bode well for whoever gets the Republican nomination.
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