Is This Tea Party Hero in Trouble?

RICHMOND – At the height of the Tea Party movement, Dave Brat stunned the political world by knocking off House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary, then winning his seat that November. Now, just four years later, Brat may again be in for the race of his life, but this time as the incumbent facing a wave of energized Democrats determined to knock him out of Congress and turn the district blue.

The Virginia lawmaker isn’t necessarily a top tier target for Democrats, who see districts that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 or where Republican incumbents retired as central to their path to the House majority. President Trump won here by 6.5 percentage points in 2016 and the district backed Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie by 3.7 points last fall even as he lost the state by a wide margin. Still, Democrats say VA-7 has the right blend of Democratic energy and Republican lethargy to become competitive in November.

“The district has suburban voters who are rejecting Trump, Democratic voters who are newly energized, and disaffected Republicans fleeing Dave Brat’s Tea Party-ism,” said Jesse Ferguson, a veteran Democratic operative who got his start in Virginia politics.

“It is an uphill race. But it’s not pushing a boulder up the hill.”

Read more at RealClearPolitics.