Eric Cantor just lost his seat in the House to a Tea Party challenger

Dave Brat has defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Brat holds a nearly 7,100-vote lead over Cantor, in what will almost certainly be considered a referendum on immigration reform as well as a huge upset for the Republican establishment.

There have been rumors that Republicans would bring immigration reform to the floor for a vote, likely this summer. Though Cantor said he opposed the Senate version of the bill, Brat hammered him on the issue throughout the campaign.

Tonight’s results are a shock. No one expected that Brat, an economics professor, would pose a serious threat to Cantor. But the Majority Leader’s campaign had taken as an unusually negative tone in recent weeks for a race that wasn’t supposed to be on anybody’s radar.

Brat’s primary victory is truly a testament to the grassroots. He raised only $206,663 since he began his campaign in January and reported $83,870 in cash-on-hand at the end of the first quarter. Cantor, however, boasted $5.4 million in campaign contributions and had $1.5 million on-hand.

Cantor, who is the first House Majority Leader to lose in a primary, had been floated as a replacement for House Speaker John Boehner (R-VA).

Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammell in November. There are two third-party candidates on the ballot as well.

Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District is currently rated “Solid Republican” by The Cook Political Report. That rating could change, but the district has a Partisan Voter Index of R+10, meaning that the GOP has a big an advantage this fall.

*This post was updated at 8:50 pm.

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