POLITICS

With Eric Cantor Defeat, Congressional Republicans Lose Only Non-Christian

06/10/2014 08:41 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2014

WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) shocking defeat Tuesday in the Republican primary to represent Virginia's 7th Congressional District may leave congressional Republicans without a non-Christian member.

Tea party activist and professor David Brat beat Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican and highest-ranking Jewish member.

According to the Pew Research Center, Republicans in January 2013 had 161 members of the House and 31 members of the Senate who identify as Protestant, 61 members of the House and nine members of the Senate who identify as Catholic, seven members of the House and five members of the Senate who identify as Mormon, and three Orthodox Christian House members. Cantor had been the GOP's only Jew in either chamber.

Cantor's loss came as a surprise: An internal poll conducted for his campaign last month claimed he led Brat by 34 percentage points. Cantor had raised $5.44 million to Brat’s $207,000.

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