Yes, of course, everyone was watching Virginia, New Jersey and upstate New York on Tuesday’s off-year election night.

But one of the most dramatic stories played out in New York City, where Mayor Mike Bloomberg forced a rewrite of the city’s term-limit law so that he could seek a third term.

Bloomberg left a Republican Party tha had turned exceedingly unpopular in the nation’s largest city, spent an estimated $100 million of his own money and collected endorsements from the major daily newspapers and more than a few Democratic elected officials.

What did it get him?

A win so narrow that it was not declared until two hours after the polls closed.

At one point, with over half the votes counted, Bloomberg led less-than-dazzling Democrat Bill Thompson by barely 3,000 votes.

Bloomberg eventually edging ahead to win by a 50-46 margin.

The mayor said he was “humbled” by the result.

And rightly so.

The margin was too close to make the independent mayor a credible contender for the presidency in 2012.

It wasn’t even a mandate for a third term — at least not a meaningful one.

And people thought Bloomberg was overspending!

Turns out he really did need all $100 million.