For several senators up for re-election this year, a significant problem is that no one in their home states knows who they are. This is a consequence, as the Washington Post’s Paul Kane points out, of the collapse of local newspapers:
Overall, there are more reporters covering Congress than ever, except they increasingly write for inside Washington publications whose readers are lawmakers, lobbyists and Wall Street investors. A Pew Research Center study released earlier this year found that at least 21 states do not have a single dedicated reporter covering Congress.
It isn’t clear yet what that means for elections, although it’s not going to bother most people if incumbents have less of an advantage than they once had.
What’s important is the potential impact on Congress.