Joe Miller knows when it’s time to walk away: after a hand-count finds you behind, the state supreme court agrees, a federal judge refuses to second-guess the state, and your opponent is officially declared the winner. Miller, a Tea Party favorite who beat incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, conceded the election the day after Murkowski was certified as the winner—nearly two months after November's election. Miller’s surprise primary victory was followed by a faltering, controversial campaign against Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate, and then by a bitter legal fight in which Miller argued that write-in votes must be spelled perfectly to be counted. Last week, the state supreme court ruled that voter intent trumped spelling. Murkowski’s victory is the first for a write-in candidate since Strom Thurmond’s in 1954.