Murphy had the help of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and House Majority Whip James Clyburn on the stump in the final few days of the race. His campaign also played up endorsements from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who taped a radio spot for Murphy.
Both candidates were out until polls closed at 9 p.m. on Tuesday in last-ditch efforts to rustle up votes.
John Herrick, the Saratoga Springs Republican Party chairman acknowledged the dead heat at the event.
"We knew it would be a tight race," he said.
"We did not take a single vote for granted," said Murphy campaign spokesman Ryan Rudominer after results began rolling in on Tuesday. "We knew that it would be an extremely close race. We feel great that it's coming down to the wire against a 26-year politician."
Murphy's quick rise from obscurity to contender was not lost on the candidate himself.
"Who would have imagined eight weeks ago, when we were 25 points down in the polls, that the president would have endorsed our campaign?" said Murphy.
Despite a 70,000 Republican voter plurality in the 20th District, Tedisco said after his speech that he knew it would be a tight race.
"It's the essence of the type of district that it was; they are very independent," he said. "We had to win them back."
The special election has garnered nation attention, in part because of the role issues like Obama's economic stimulus package and AIG bailouts have played in the debate between the candidates. Some have suggested the results of this election will be a referendum on the administration's economic policies, though that sentiment is hardly universal.
"We've been focused on the 20th Congressional District," said Rudominer, while acknowledging that Murphy "has been extremely vocal in our support of President Obama's jobs and economic recovery package."