The favorite term to describe Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary loss to an unknown was "Earthquake!?" The New York Time's 2012 election-predictor guru Nate Silver even produced graphs comparing all 3.5 or higher Southern California earthquakes since 1999 to House incumbent loses in primaries since 2010.
I can't blame Silver for having a little fun. The truth is, we were all shocked because we believed the Republican "establishment" was unshakable.
Cantor's defeat means the 2014 election is no longer in the bag for the Republicans. And that, dear reader, truly is a political earthquake.
The popular analysis is Cantor, a consistent foe of immigration reform, was beaten because his opponent made immigration a key issue in the closing weeks of the campaign. Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm, polled Cantor's district on primary day, and found 72 percent of them supported immigration reform. Lest you think PPP's affiliation affects its polling, know that several studies of 2012 presidential election pollsters put PPP on top of the list for accuracy.
No, immigration reform did not defeat Cantor. Eric Cantor defeated Cantor.
Voters in his district awakened to the reality that Cantor wasn't the solution to doublespeak, Washington insider cronyism and gridlock. He was part of the problem.
Cantor was an inside-the-Beltway operative. He was so busy running as K-Street's man to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House that he forgot his real constituents lived in Virginia.
That's the truth of it.
Red State, a conservative online publication, put it this way: "Cantor's constituent services moved more toward focusing on running the Republican House majority than his congressional district. K Street, the den of Washington lobbyists, became his chief constituency."
There were signs Cantor saw this too late. At a district Republican convention held in Richmond shortly before the election, Cantor's pick for the 7th Congressional District Republican chairmanship lost. And when Cantor addressed the convention he spoke for only 24 seconds before they drowned him with boos.
On primary day, a candidate who doesn't take the voters for granted would be outdoors on the hustle for votes, calling last-minute undecided voters, showing up at high-voting precincts or greeting workers at factory gates. Cantor was back in Washington, D.C., and not home asking constituents for their votes. Cantor became the poster boy for the GOP establishment, which Republicans of all stripes no longer like.
Donna Brazile is a senior Democratic strategist, a political commentator and contributor to CNN and ABC News.