It doesn’t get them the support of the coal industry:
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas are the only Senate Democrats running for re-election who have voted with the coal industry more than half the time since 2008. Yet with the red-state lawmakers’ campaigns down in the polls and their political lives on the line, the industry is spending tens of thousands of dollars more than it has donated to Landrieu and Pryor to bolster the prospects of their GOP rivals.
Dave Roberts is unsurprised by these findings:
Coal executives understand one of the basic truths of the partisan age: Most of what you need to know about a politician can be derived from the (D) or (R) after their name. As the parties become stronger and more parliamentary, a reliable vote matters more than an individual candidate’s opinions or character (or even committee rank).
After all, polarization is happening on both sides. As conservative Dem senators lose in red states, Senate Democrats are becoming more unified. For Big Coal and the kind of people who feel cultural solidarity with it — the guys “rolling coal” — the choice between a coal-friendly Dem or one step closer to a Republican majority is easy. They’d be crazy not to go for the latter.