Whatever happened to the CNY Underground blog? The Republican-leaning site, often criticizing Michael Arcuri but rarely praising Ray Meier, has been replaced with an automatically-generated page full of links about phentermine, home mortgages, credit cards, and the like.
The fall of CNY Underground follows the disintegration of the Weekly Democrat, the abandonment of You Go Mike, and the slowdown of Maimun Khan's blog to the pace of molasses in November.
It's a mystery to me why, the closer we've gotten to Election Day, the more election-themed blogs have fallen by the wayside here in New York's 24th district.
One possible explanation is that people feel much less personal interest in the general election than they have in the contest to see who will represent their political party. Primary season was hot with excited discussion and debate in a way that the contest of Michael Arcuri against Ray Meier has not been.
Of course, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats got a chance to vote for who would represent their party in the general election. The local parties' leadership arranged the nomination all on their own. Perhaps that set the precedent for people's feelings about the election in general.
Talking to both Republicans and Democrats in person about this election, I've noticed a complacent sort of feeling, with little attachment to either to Mike Arcuri or to Ray Meier. This election seems to have become a contest more of the political parties than a contest between the actual candidates. It's more about the Republicans vs. the Democrats than Ray Meier vs. Michael Arcuri.
Most voters don't know much about what kind of policies Ray Meier or Michael Arcuri stand for. When they think Ray Meier, they think generic Republican. When they think Michael Arcuri, they think generic Democrat. This generic perception of the candidates is so dominant that voters are inclined to reject any information that doesn't fit expectations of what a Democrat or Republican will do in Congress.
Without much specific attachment among voters to particular candidates, information about the candidates has come to seem not so important. The race has become not so much of a local affair as many campaign insiders suggested it would be. Rather, the election seems to have become just a local representation of the national contest for control of Congress. Voters seem less concerned about having a good representative than they are about which party has majority rule in the House of Representatives.
We seem to be less citizens of New York's 24th congressional district than we are citizens of the United States of America in general. Local control of this campaign was ceded long ago, with the national Republican Party and the national Democratic Party setting the beat.
So, what's a local blogger to do in this atmosphere? Repeat the party line? React to campaign commercials from the national Democratic and Republican parties? I don't blame so many bloggers for dropping out. The race has not produced much inspiring material to work with. Both Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri have demonstrated more cowardice than leadership.
Then again, I don't really know what's led CNY Underground to hit the dirt, or for other blogs to call it a day. Maybe something else is afoot, leading the bloggers to fall by the wayside. Anyone have any hints?