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Very surprising open primary

Neither political polling before the primary nor any of the established "experts" predicted that hitherto little known professor of economics David Brat had much chance to unseat Eric Cantor. Yet Brat did and by a huge unforeseen margin.
Cantor had held the 7th district United States House seat for 7 terms and was chosen House Majority Leader when John Boehner left that to become Speaker after Republicans resumed majority control of the House. Cantor has been the majority leader the last 2 House terms.
After defeating Cantor yesterday David Brat will face the Democrats' nominee John "Jack" Trammell in the November election.
Everyone would like to know exactly what happened, but none more than the leadership of the Republican Party.
Was the open primary process to blame? Since Democrats are allowed to vote in Virginia primaries, did many of them? Did they vote for Brat merely to unseat the House Majority Leader? What mischief was there? What would be the point of that? The new majority leader will only be another Republican anyway if the Republicans hold the House nationwide.
If Republicans in the 7th district themselves were looking for new leadership, why would Democrats help them?
The Republican Party nationwide is struggling for identity. Having the option of either a primary or a party conference caucus to nominate candidates for the state level offices in 2013 the Republicans chose a causus. Their choices for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General all lost.
New legislation might restrict or close that nomination process option, but the Republican Party leadership must be wondering what difference it would make.
One reason the Democrats might be responsible for the surprise vote yesterday is that they had no one to challenge the victor in that primary until the day before. Trammel merely took the Democratic nomination by not having any Democratic challenger. How exactly that might have put the Republicans in disarray is difficult to pin down.
Trammel will no doubt need Republican votes to win in the staunchly conservative district in November. No one is guessing where he'll find those. It could be a very awkward campaign. As of this moment he is listed as an "independent" on the State Board of elections preview of the November ballot.
Brat or Trammel will be one of 11 members of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia.

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