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Oklahoma’s Coal Country Turns Red

Has Oklahoma’s coal country turned Republican? Also known as Little Dixie, the southeast part of Oklahoma which historically has voted Democrat turned a different shade following last week’s 2014 mid-term elections.

As the McCarville Report indicated, Republicans painted the region red, despite the efforts of the State Chamber of Commerce which became involved in fighting the re-election of Senator Josh Brecheen, a Republican. He won easily. So did Senator-elect Roger Thompson who won a district that includes Okfuskee, McIntosh and Okmulgee counties.

But the area is typically coal country too and for decades, those coal-miners voted Democrat. Whether it was the local candidates promising to do more to help the coal industry or the Environmental Protection Agency, something worked.

On the national scene, coal districts in Kentucky, Illinois and West Virginia made the switch to Republican. Some speculate it was a vote against the Obama administration’s EPA and its move to adopt rules to limit greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants. Others say the coal miners just had their fill of President Obama’s war on coal.