There is a political earthquake breaking in the NY-23 race. Republican insider Dede Scazzafava has quit the race, as reported first by Robert Stacey McCain, who is on the scene in upstate NY. HotAir is collecting the sources and information.

This will pit Conservative Doug Hoffman against Democrat Bill Owens.

Now it is a straight-up referendum on Obama, and the future of the country. A liberal against a conservative, with party labels meaningless.

UPDATE: Some commenters are questioning whether the NY-23 race is about Obama. Here’s what Owens said yesterday, in anticipation of Joe Biden’s visit Monday:

“I’m honored to have the President and Vice President’s support,” Owens said in a statement announcing the vice-presidential visit. “I am excited to welcome the Vice President to Watertown where we’ll discuss my plans to create jobs Upstate and my commitment to helping turn the page on the George Bush economic agenda.”

Owens made this a referendum on Obama when it was a three-way race. It still is, but even more so.

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