AP: Romney wins West Virginia - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

AP: Romney wins West Virginia

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With polling places in the Mountain State barely closed, the Associated Press and CBS News declared Republican Mitt Romney the winner of West Virginia.

Polls officially closed in West Virginia at 7:30. Within minutes, the two news agencies declared Romney earned more votes in the state than President Barack Obama, based on exit polling.

Neither Romney nor Obama campaigned in West Virginia. But Obama had come under attack in the state by members of both parties for stances that some said were biased against coal, one of the largest industries in the state.

Obama's administration created the conditions necessary to draft rules that would effectively stop construction of any new, traditional-type coal-fired power plants. The move comes at a time when the industry was already squeezed by natural gas prices and other challenges.

Obama focused much of his political capital on creating policies that would support renewable and green sources of energy.

Those subsidies are policies Romney has decried while befriending the fossil fuel industry throughout the campaign. Romney's position has been that renewable industries should not get undue financial attention.

"I like coal," Romney famously said in one debate.  

Romney's campaign has focused on a five-point plan: energy independence, increasing available trade markets, improved public education opportunity, trimming the deficit and boost small business. The goals resonated with a nation weary of its economy, though many voters were skeptical of the specifics, or perceived lack thereof, of how to achieve some of those long-sought goals.

A Romney administration promises to seek easier permits for the energy industry, elimination of regulations on the coal industry and other energy industry friendly policies.

The Romney campaign has also been highly critical of China's trade practices, federal spending and union labor tactics.