Senate Republicans have decided not to ruin Sen. Ted Stevens 85th birthday (any more than it may be ruined by the count of the last big pile of votes in his re-election race) with a vote on whether to boot him from their caucus. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican Senator in history — he's held his seat since 1968 — was convicted on seven felony counts last month.
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint had planned to introduce a motion today calling on Senate Republicans to vote on Stevens' expulsion from their caucus. But after some GOP murmuring about jumping the gun, DeMint now says he'll wait until Thursday to press for the vote. By then the results of Stevens' re-election race should be clearer. As of this morning, Stevens trailed Democrat Mark Begich by 1,022 votes, with 24,000 votes yet to be counted.