Fox News just halfheartedly called New York's 23nd congressional district for the Democrat, Bill Owens. It's been a safe GOP seat for years. Then Sarah Palin decided that local party officials had erred in nominating a liberal Republican, Dede Scozzafava, and threw her support beyond the Conservative Party's candidate for the seat, carpetbagger Doug Hoffman. Scozzafava returned the favor by dropping out and endorsing Owens.
His victory is a stunning defeat for Palin. Yet watch conservatives spin it as a win for their true-blue principles -- although the talking points have evidently not yet been delivered to the GOP's most reliable media friends. Before this evening, Fox had devoted considerable attention to New York 23 as a bellwether race, dramatic evidence that angry conservatives had a better sense of the electorate than the out-of-touch GOP bosses who'd nominated Scozzafava. Now that Owens has won -- demonstrating that local Republicans, unlike Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity, knew exactly what the district was looking for -- Fox's anchorpeople have suddenly lost interest.