Well, I had begun to assume a big Hoffman victory. Not so fast. Owens has a small but real lead, with over 60 percent of the votes in. More interesting, Palin just doesn't poll very well in a district that is almost tailor-made for her:
43% view her favorably to 44% negative. This is in a poll with a party ID breakdown of R+14 that shows Doug Hoffman leading by 17 points. If Palin's not popular in an electorate with that mix she's not going anywhere nationally.
NY-23 is a district with an unusual number of moderate Republicans, and Palin's favorability with them breaks down negatively 53/32. She could overcome those kinds of numbers in a contest to get the Republican nomination but they certainly wouldn't be good enough in a general election. The North Country should be friendly ground for her and if she can't make it there it's hard to see how she can make it anywhere.
So the endorsement of Hoffman may not have been that big a deal.