House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary in historically unprecedented fashion yesterday, and now David Brat, who defeated him, looks set to coast into victory in November. Virginia's 7th congressional district, after all, is heavily Republican. Cantor first won the seat in 2000, with 67 percent of the vote, and with 58 percent of the vote in 2012, the first election after the most recent redrawing of Virginia's congressional districts. It's not an insurmountable advantage for a non-Republican, unlike truly single-party districts, but it's also not one Jack Trammell, the Democrats' candidate (who, like Brat, is a professor at the local Randolph-Macon College) seems equipped to surmount.
As evidence, take a look at Trammell's sorry excuse for a website, which doesn't include so much as a talking point-laden issues page. There's probably been more interest in the 2014 race in the 7th congressional district, and in Trammell, today alone than there's been to-date. Yet nobody in the Democrats' nationwide apparatus though to give Trammell's website a crack makeover last night in anticipation of the new attention.
Democrats appear to have written off the district in a similar way to Cantor; they've assumed the result. It's typical of the two-party duopoly, which has carved out most of the country between it, leaving just a handful of "battleground" districts and states over which the two parties compete.
In that context, efforts by the Virginia Libertarian Party to compete across the state appear to be paying off. For the first time in its history the party will be fielding a candidate for eleven out of the twelve federal offices up for election in November (only the 5th congressional district doesn't have a candidate), led by the former gubernatorial candidate Rob Sarvis running for Senate. In the 7th district, the candidate is James Carr, whose website suggests Libertarians are taking that race more seriously than Democrats.