Democrats will pay a price at the polls if they decide to "go it alone" on healthcare reform legislation, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) vowed Wednesday.

DeMint said that if Democrats choose to abandon talks with Republicans, or even use procedural maneuvers to pass a healthcare bill containing a public option with only a simple majority in the Senate, they would suffer losses in the next election cycle.

"I think the American people are already outraged," DeMint said in an interview on CNBC. "If we get into this kind of backroom shenanigans, I think the American people are going to throw them out of office -- and they should."

The conservative South Carolinian asserted that it would harm everyone from President Obama to Democrats downballot.

"If he passes this without any Republican support -- or really, any American support -- I think it's going to hurt his presidency, I think it's going to hurt the Democrats in the next election," he said.