Cable news might occasionally be criticized for predictable political coverage, but last night, top anchors and reporters reacted to an unpredicted political stunner: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor‘s defeat in Virginia’s congressional primary.
“His loss marks a huge victory for the Tea Party movement,” Sean Hannity said before his exclusive interview with the victorious candidate, Dave Brat, via phone. “If you go door to door knocking, the American people know the country is heading in the wrong direction,” Brat told Hannity.
“This is a huge, huge moment in the Republican Party; it’s also a huge moment in politics,” Bret Baier said as he took over coverage during the 8pmET hour. “One of the most powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill goes down,” Megyn Kelly added later on her show.
“Shocking is an overused term in our political discourse, but this news tonight earns the term,” Rachel Maddow said while interrupting a pre-recorded “All In with Chris Hayes” (Hayes came back live at 8:38pmET). “This is the single biggest political upset I’ve ever seen in my life,” Steve Kornacki, host of “Up,” said via phone. Chuck Todd called it a “major upset,” and suggested an important ripple effect: “immigration [reform]…dead.” Todd interview Brat this morning on “Daily Rundown.”
“A seismic shift,” CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash called it as Anderson Cooper broke the news. “Republicans who weren’t running scared may now start running scared,” chief political analyst Gloria Borger said.