Fox News Digital Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt offers a useful corrective to four myths about Randolph-Macon Academy Professor Dave Brat's resounding 12-point defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Stirewalt was politics editor of the Washington Examiner before joining Fox and in his previous capacity closely followed Virginia politics.
Now he writes Fox News First, a morning alert that is essential reading for political addicts and newshounds. In today's edition, he addressed what he described as "the lavish mythology" that began springing up almost before the votes were fully counted.
"Myth - Cantor was upended in a low-turnout election by a small number of Tea Party radicals.
"Reality - The results in Cantor’s defeat, the first-ever primary loss by a sitting House majority leader saw a marked rise in turnout from 2012: a 28-percent turnout increase from the presidential-election year. You may feel free to lament the poor levels of American civic involvement, generally. But this is not a case of low-turnout electoral distortion."
A little further on, Stirewalt notes this revealing fact: Cantor lost his home county of Henrico. That's in the prosperous Richmond suburbs that were considered the majority leader's base of support.
Stirewalt also addresses the ideas that immigration outrage was the primary factor in Brat's win, that Democrat crossovers were involved and that the Cantor-Brat battle was another chapter in the mainstream media's Republican Establishment versus the Tea Party narrative about the 2014 primaries.