Yesterday in Juneau, Alaska, Judge William Carey made his judgment on the case brought by Joe Miller in his attempt to prolong the Senate election which he had already lost. As I observed last month, “tea partier” Miller had won the primary against incumbent Lisa Murkowski, but the latter had run a “write-in” campaign and was leading by over 10,000 votes, although some of these had been challenged by the Miller team.
But, as Carey noted, even if all the challenged ballots were excluded, Murkowski would still be over 2,000 votes ahead. He therefore threw out Miller’s case, although the ruling does not come into force until Tuesday next, to allow time for an appeal. That move may not prove particularly productive: Carey also cited past high court decisions in his ruling, suggesting that precedent is not on Miller’s side.
The Miller camp is still giving the impression that it may appeal, but it’s hard to see what could be gained by carrying on. It is looking more and more certain that, in crucial Senate races, the “tea party” effect has been to lose the GOP the seats it needed to take control of both Houses.
And that could prove true for the 2012 Presidential race as well. Maybe Sarah Palin will take that thought on board, but I doubt it.