In Virginia Coal Country, Voters’ Suspicions Reveal a GOP Vulnerability

"WISE, Va. — Amid the struggling businesses and flattened mountaintops strip-mined decades ago, antipathy toward Democrats and what’s known in this region as their 'war on coal' is stronger than just about anywhere else in the country."

"That has translated naturally into broad opposition to Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor this year. But across the coal fields of far-southwest Virginia, something unusual is also happening: Voters don’t like the Republican candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, much better.

Cuccinelli’s struggles seem to stem largely from a complex legal case that pits big coal companies against local property owners over the extraction of gas from Virginia land. A lawyer in Cuccinelli’s office intervened on behalf of the companies, and McAuliffe has seized on that to cast the Republican as something other than the defender-of-the-little-guy he has claimed to be throughout this year’s contentious campaign."

Ben Pershing reports for the Washington Post October 22, 2013.

Source: Wash Post, 10/23/2013