Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman was primed to win Tuesday’s congressional special election both before and after Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out, according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling survey shows Hoffman leading the race by 17 points, 51-34, over Democrat Bill Owens with Scozzafava still in the race and taking 13 percent. In a straight head-to-head matchup with Owens, Hoffman’s lead held at 54-38.

The poll was conducted over the weekend, during which time Scozzafava dropped out of the race Saturday and endorsed Owens on Sunday, but Hoffman led significantly at all stages.

Scozzafava's departure from the race was initially seen as a boon to Hoffman, but this polling suggests her dropping out and backing Owens might have been his only hope to defeat Hoffman.

As it turned out, the poll shows that Scozzafava was taking such a negligible share of the vote that her exit probably didn’t matter. And she will remain on the ballot, so even those who were going to vote for her still can.

Siena is supposed to have another poll out soon, and we'll see if its results square with PPP's.