Jaws dropped in network newsrooms across the country tonight as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional primary to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.
Cable news networks went into overdrive with the stunning news. At 8:06pm MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interrupted Chris Hayes’ show, which had been pre-recorded. Maddow called it “a shocking development in American politics.” (Hayes returned live at 8:38pm). CNN’s Anderson Cooper called the race at 8:11pm and FNC’s Trace Gallagher broke in to the O’Reilly Factor at 8:14pmET, before Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly picked up coverage and filled out the 8pmET hour.
As vote totals came in in the 7pmET hour, the news networks began speculating that Cantor looked to go down to defeat. Dana Perino in for Greta Van Susteren on Fox News reported Cantor was trailing Brat, as did Erin Burnett on CNN, and Lou Dobbs on FBN.