CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney has made short work of West Virginia, easily carrying a state where President Barack Obama suffers some of his lowest approval ratings.
The former Massachusetts governor was heavily favored entering Election Day over the Democratic incumbent. The race was called at poll closing based on exit poll data.
Just over half of West Virginia's voters are Democrats. But coal remains an important part of its economy, and the industry is fiercely at odds with Obama administration policy.
Obama also lost the state in 2008 by more than 13 percent of the vote. Tuesday marks the fourth consecutive presidential election where West Virginia chose the GOP nominee.
Neither Romney nor Obama campaigned in West Virginia. They instead focused on such battlegrounds as neighboring Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)