In the White House, at the very least, officials are bracing themselves for a loss, calling Scozzafava’s departure bad news for Owens. The one hope, they say, is if Scozzafava — who has more philosophical similarities with the Democratic Party than Hoffman’s brand of Republicanism — was to formally endorse her former rival.

“This hurts,” one administration official told the Huffington Post on Saturday, “unless we can get her on board.”