Boone County, WV had Largest Swing Percentage in 2012

Boone County, WV tops the list of counties that displayed the largest swing percentage in the 2012 General Presidential Election. West Virginia County Map Highlighting Boone County In the 2008 General Election, Barack Obama won Boone County 54% to 43%. In 2012, Mitt Romney turned around this 10.7% Republican loss into a 31.5% Republican win, defeating Barack Obama 64% to 33%.  The total swing was 42.2% toward the Republican candidate.  This is the first time a Republican has won in Boone County since the 1972 Richard Nixon landslide and only the second time since 1924.

Located in southern West Virginia, adjacent to the south of Kanawha County, Boone County is in the mountain top removal coal mining region in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia, extreme southwestern Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. The swing percentage towards the Republican candidate amongst many of these more traditionally Democratic counties is impressive as shown in the table below:

County Swing 2008-2012 Region Swing Map
Boone, WV 42.2% Appalachian Swing 2012
Knott, KY 39.7%
McDowell, WV 38.4%
Pike, KY 36.7%
Webster, WV 33.1%
Magoffin, KY 32.8%
Floyd, KY 32.6%
Nicholas, WV 32.0%
Gallatin, IL 31.1%
Wyoming, WV 30.6%

Nine of the top ten swing counties are all located in the same region (darkest blue on the map shows counties where the swing is greater than 30%), a convincing indication of the dislike of many residents of this area to the positions of the incumbent President during his reelection bid.