Green vs. Coal: Is the UMWA becoming obsolete in Democratic Politics?

From our new site “How The World Votes”:

Signs like this popped up all over the "coal belt".
Signs like this popped up all over the “coal belt”.

During the 2012 Presidential Election, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) decided not to endorse either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Even though the UMWA didn’t officially take a position on the race, the rank-and-file mine workers were strongly against President Obama. Yard signs saying “Stop Obama’s War on Coal” highly outnumber Obama/Biden 2012 yard signs in the Coal Belt.

“Coal County” had been trending against Democrats since the 2000 Presidential Election. But in 2012, the region went almost exclusively Republican with only a handful of coal mining counties favoring President Obama over Governor Romney.

With these numbers, have the Democrats lost the coal miner vote? The answer is easily yes. During the 1996 presidential election, the coal mining regions of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania went strongly for President Clinton. But once Vice President Gore was on the ticket, who was a strong environmentalist, the shift started to happen. During that time, it has gradually deteriorated with Obama having the poorest showing for a Democrat in this region ever, even performing worse than Walter Mondale in 1984.