In other words, Hoffman only emerged as the GOP's champion very late in the campaign, in a confused situation of rapidly changing circumstances. This was not your usual political campaign.
Michelle Malkin summarizes the election and its aftermath:
Hoffman may have lost narrowly, but NY-23 is a much broader victory for conservatives who believe the Republican Party should stand for core limited government principles. Scozzafava, who was endorsed by far Left blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and backed by Planned Parenthood, the National Education Association, and card-check-promoting trade unions, was denied the congressional seat because movement conservatives refused to support Arlen Specter in a skirt. This is a victory of principle.
Better a donkey in office that acts like a donkey than a donkey in elephant’s clothing making a complete ass of the GOP.
Moreover, NY-23 is a victory for conservatives who refuse to be marginalized in the public square by either the unhinged left or the establishment right. A humble accountant from upstate New York exposed the hypocrisy of GOP leaders trying to solicit funds from conservatives by lambasting Pelosi and the Dems’ support for high taxes, Big Labor, and bigger government — while using conservatives’ money to subsidize a high-taxing, Big Labor-pandering, bigger government radical. The repercussions will be felt well beyond NY-23’s borders. Conservatives’ disgust with the status quo has been heard and felt. They have been silent too long. They will be silent no more.And, we will be back to NY23 in one year's time, more prepared and better funded, and hopefully without RINO baggage to dispose of.