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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Mining Vote Will Probably Not Be a Big Factor in Virgina's Gubernatorial Race

The Mining Vote Will Probably Not Be a Big Factor in Virgina's Gubernatorial Race

Thursday, 29 August 2013 15:20

A NYT story on how demographic change seems to be helping Democrats in Virginia noted as an offsetting factor that mining areas are increasingly Republican. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia has 10.700 people employed in mining and logging. This is less than 0.3 percent of the state's labor force. It is unlikely that this group will have much impact on the outcome of 2013 election.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Deano..where's the multiplier...come on!
written by pete, August 29, 2013 4:48
Got to be 40,000 waitresses and other support for those 10,000? What is the mining multiplier? Those support folks will vote just like the miners.
written by skeptonomist, August 29, 2013 5:08
Coal mining has been shrinking everywhere. The impact is greater than the number directly employed, since whole regions are dependent on coal. Republicans think this is important, since they have been putting out a lot of propaganda trying to pin this shrinkage on the EPA's regulations. The real reason is that natural gas has become cheaper, so power plants have been switching on their own.

The stances of the candidates on coal mining (in Virginia or anywhere) are not simple - they have to balance the big-money coal interests against the big-money gas interests. Democrats may also consider the workers' (union) interests.
written by skeptonomist, August 29, 2013 5:14
Here's some more on the "War on Coal" as affecting politics in Virginia:

written by Last Mover, August 29, 2013 6:41

Not to worry. Voter ID laws will prevent radical environmentalist outsiders from raiding the state and voting up to ten times each, therefore miners won't have to face structural unemployment in a deep recession like everyone else does for lack of fracking skills.
It's the coal companies
written by Dean, August 30, 2013 4:08
Skeptonomist gets it. The industry has been very effective in making mining a major jobs issue even in cases where it clearly is not. It is of course to a miners and their families if they lose their job, but the government will make decisions that have bigger job impacts all the time and never give them a second thought.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.