Eric Cantor 1st House Majority Leader to Lose Renomination Bid in History

(Smart Politics) -- Cantor's loss in the Virginia primary Tuesday is the first failed renomination bid after 55 successful attempts by sitting majority leaders of the nation's lower legislative chamber

Eric Cantor's double-digit loss to David Brat in Virginia's 7th Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday stunned most beltway observers.

While the possible primary woes of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and long-serving Mississippi GOPer Thad Cochran were the focus of much of the 2014 cycle, the theoretical end of Cantor's reign as House Majority Leader through a defeat at the ballot box seemed to only percolate in the media in recent days.

But Cantor's loss was not simply surprising to those not immersed in Virginia's 7th CD race, it was also historic.

A Smart Politics analysis finds that Eric Cantor's defeat Tuesday was the first after 55 consecutive successful renomination bids by sitting U.S. House majority leaders since the creation of the office 115 years ago.

Prior to Cantor, more house majority leaders had died in office (one - Democrat Hale Boggs of Louisiana in 1972) than lost a renomination bid (zero) since the Office of the Majority Leader was officially created in 1899.

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