That's a conclusion of a paper authored by Princeton economists Sam Schulhofer-Wohl and Miguel Garrido.
Their study finds that in the short run, the 27000-circulation Cincinnati Post's closure has adversely affected political engagement and electoral competition in northern Kentucky. The study does not cover Ohio, which hasn't had municipal elections since the paper folded.
The Post's closing "made elections less competitive" with a "greater increase in incumbent advantage after the Post closed" (p. 15) .Read the study here (pdf, 266 kb) .
"[R]elatively few people went to the polls after the Post closed in places where the Post was more important" (p. 17) .
[R]elatively few people ran for office after the Post closed in places where the Post was more important" (p. 17).