Saranac Lake, N.Y. — Bummer.
That said, the media still isn’t calling the race. This could be a long night. Conservatives hoping for a win started the night full of enthusiasm, but that excitement has flagged as the night has worn on. There are approximately 10,000 absentee ballots (mostly military) yet to be counted, but Bill Owens has outperformed the polls in every county in the district and currently holds a (roughly) 4,000-vote lead.
When the Hoffman campaign began, expectations couldn’t have been any lower. After Scozzafava dropped out, expectations might have risen too quickly. Don’t forget that she remained on the ballot and appears to have siphoned off 5 percent of the vote in the 23rd district. Hoffman was always up against long odds. Conservatives might have been too quick to interpret his victory over Scozzafava as a sign that he couldn’t lose. Don’t forget where he started — polling in single digits a mere three months ago.