For all his success in helping elect ultraconservatives to the Senate, Sen. Jim DeMint now must face the difficult consequences of one spectacular, all but certain failure.
Even as DeMint says he would welcome fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski back to the Senate, the South Carolinian is still urging conservative activists around the country to donate money to replace the Alaskan incumbent with tea party favorite Joe Miller.
DeMint, who raised $5.6 million for ultraconservative GOP candidates this year, has attached a personal-appeal letter to a CONTRIBUTE banner and a photo of Miller at the top of the Web site of his Senate Conservatives Fund.
"Joe Miller can win this race, but he's up against a well-financed legal team that is working for Lisa Murkowski," DeMint writes. "They will be fighting to bend the law in Alaska, which requires write-in ballots to accurately state the candidate's name."
Before a federal judge temporarily froze the final outcome on Friday, Murkowski appeared to have won a write-in campaign against Miller in the Nov. 2 general election, overcoming DeMint's contribution of more than $627,000 to Miller.