How SWVA’s coalfields went from Va’s most Democratic to its most Republican (Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism)

Virginia’s most Republican-voting counties were among its most Democratic-voting just a generation ago. The decline of coal and a cultural realignment in America’s political parties changed its voting patterns, which dramatically accelerated after the 2008 election of Barack Obama and spiked in 2016 with Donald Trump.

For the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, I reported on how southwestern Virginia’s coal counties, and specifically Buchanan County, went from a Democratic stronghold to an 80% Trump county in the span of a generation. (After this story ran, 84% of Buchanan County voters went for Trump in 2020, even as Joe Biden won Virginia 54% to 44%.)

Read my story at the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism.