Mitch McConnell, Matt Bevin

Republicans capitalize on anti-Obama fervor in coal country

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2015, file photo, Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, left, speaks with Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell at the Graves County Republican Party breakfast in Mayfield, Ky. McConnell says the GOP has done a lot to build support in Kentucky, where Bevin was elected governor on Tuesday, Nov. 3. But as for the switch in the coal counties that for so long backed Democrats, he gives all the credit to President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — In the heart of Kentucky’s coal country, where sons followed fathers and grandfathers into the mines, support for Democrats ran as deep as the coal seams that powered the region’s economy. But as the Appalachian coal sector’s future has dimmed, so has political loyalty.

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