Chris McDaniel, the tea party insurgent who lost a highly-charged US Senate primary runoff to incumbent Thad Cochran, was expected to announce today whether he plans to appeal a judge’s decision last week that his campaign waited too long before filing a challenge.

In a sign that sour grapes will flavor the announcement, McDaniel’s campaign manager State Senator Melanie Sojourner suggested on Facebook today that McDaniel voters should back Democrat Travis Childers in the general election over Cochran.

Efforts to nullify the primary runoff by the outside “voting integrity” group True The Vote (TTV) have also suffered a series of setbacks in federal court over the last few days. Their lawsuit against the Mississippi Republican Party and the Secretary of State  has not been going well, and Judge Nancy Atlas has decided that they cannot have unrestricted access to poll books or absentee ballot applications as they demanded.

Atlas ruled Friday that disclosing voters’ birth dates “raises serious concerns” about privacy, particularly if dates were to be released with full names and current addresses.

“Birth dates, when combined with other identifying information available in voter registration records, can be used to obtain — both legally and improperly — a host of other highly personal information about an individual, particularly in this day of computers with vast searching powers,” Atlas wrote.

In related news, an attorney for Richard Sager, the schoolteacher charged in connection with the unauthorized photographing of Rose Cohran, says that his client may reach a plea deal with prosecutors. Such a deal would leave the photographer, Clayton Thomas Kelly, as the only person left to face justice in the matter. Attorney Mark Mayfield died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the primary, while co-defendant John Mary reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty nearly a month ago.

McDaniel still has not made his planned announcement yet, but we will update this post if he does.