Coal Shoulder

ABINGDON, Va. — While the coal issue drove higher Republican voter turnout and percentages in Virginia coal country, it wasn’t nearly enough to change Tuesday’s election outcome in the state.

According to unofficial vote totals released by the Virginia State Board of Elections after midnight, President Barack Obama had won the state with 50 percent of the vote to challenger Mitt Romney’s 48 percent.

Virginia, a swing state that wasn’t called until hours after Obama’s victory was announced, had faced a constant bombardment from both sides with ads and campaign events.

The large but largely rural region of Southwest Virginia, which relies on coal mining as a key economic driver, had received a lot of attention from the Romney-Ryan campaign with visits in the weeks leading up to the election.

The strategy, supporters said, was to drive higher turnout in areas with strong support, in hopes of bringing swing state Virginia back to the Republican side of the election equation this year. But it wasn’t enough.

Read more at The American Spectator. By Debra McCown.

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