On Friday, the Daily Caller released a poll that showed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) lead over Tea Party-backed challenger Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District has dropped to 13 points just days before the June 10 election. The poll, conducted by Vox Populi of 583 likely Republican primary voters in the district on June 2, showed that 52 percent support Cantor while 39 percent support Brat.
The results suggest a sharp drop in support for Cantor. A poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates between May 27 and 28 that showed Cantor leading by a 62 percent to 28 percent margin.
The poll also showed a sharp decline for Cantor when compared to his huge margin of 79 percent to 21 percent by which he beat challenger Floyd Bayne in the 2012 Republican primary. In the 2012 general election, Cantor defeated his Democratic opponent by a 59 percent to 41 percent margin.
Despite being outspent by $1.9 million to $123,000 up to May 21, according to reports filed by each campaign with the Federal Election Commission, Brat’s focus on Cantor’s immigration record has sparked national attention on the campaign.
Even if Brat cleared 40 percent, the outcome would be embarrassing for Cantor, who, like in other cycles, has not taken the race lightly.
With the active support of conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, Brat has been able to focus the national spotlight on Cantor’s immigration record, prompting Cantor to channel his inner anti-amnesty warrior over the last three weeks of the campaign.
Cantor’s campaign, which is expected to spend more than $3 million before the polls close, has flooded the television airwaves with commercials and mail boxes with direct mailers proclaiming him as a champion of opposition to amnesty. Brat has fired back that Cantor supports granting amnesty to illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors.
When asked about the “DREAM Act” in a local television interview Friday, Cantor refused to rule out the possibility it could come to a vote in the House after the primary election but before the November general election.
Laura Ingraham told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that Cantor’s carefully couched language is a sign that he’ll back amnesty after the primary, despite his aggressive posturing now.
“Anyone who’s ever had any wiggle room or squishy language on the issue of immigration has always moved to the amnesty position eventually. If people say the following–well, you can’t deport 11 million people; we have to pull these people out of the shadows; the system is broken; we have de facto amnesty,” Ingraham said.
As House Majority Leader, “Eric Cantor could have taken immigration off the table. He chose not to,” Ingraham noted.
Cantor’s campaign gives no credence to the results of the Daily Caller/Vox Populi poll.
“We’re going to win by a much stronger margin… our internal polling shows that,” Cantor’s campaign consultant Ray Allen told the Daily Caller.
For his part, challenger Brat has been predicting victory over Cantor for some time.