Cantor has a better shot at the top House spot for a number of reasons, according to political science professor Jack Pitney.

They include: “Having been a member of the leadership for several years now, establishing national name identification, being able to raise money, showing that he can excel at both the inside game and the outside game, according to Pitney, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College.

Cantor has already raised more than $5 million for the 2013-2014 cycle, and has more than $2 million cash on hand between his personal campaign fund and his leadership PAC called Every Republican is Crucial (ERIC), according to the federal election money tracking website Opensecrets.org.

Cantor has had a seat at the GOP leadership table since then-House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) selected him to be chief deputy whip in 2002. That has helped him foster relationships with many in the GOP conference.