On election day Romney carried Kentucky by a landslide margin, winning 60.49% of the vote to Barack Obama's 37.80%, a margin of 22.69%.
Although Kentucky had been won by Southern Democrat Bill Clinton twice in the 1990s, Obama was seen as a poor cultural fit for the state, and he did not compete here either time he ran.
The Romney campaign also attacked Obama's administration as being hostile to the coal industry, historically an important part of the state's economy, because of its environmental harm. Consequently, Obama suffered a historically poor showing in the traditionally staunchly Democratic coalfields of Eastern Kentucky. Many counties which had voted even for landslide Democratic losers like George McGovern and Walter Mondale defected to the Republicans. Knott County, which had given Bill Clinton 73% of the vote in 1996, gave Mitt Romney 73% of the vote in 2012. Even Elliott County, the only county in the state in which Obama had broken 60% in 2008, barely held on in 2012, giving Obama a narrow 49-47 plurality win, his only victory in the region, and one of just four county wins in the entire state.
The only part of the state where Obama won convincingly was Jefferson County, the most urban and populous county in the state, where Louisville is located. He also eked out a close win in Fayette County, the second most populous county, home to Lexington. Obama's fourth county victory came from flipping Franklin County, home to the state capital of Frankfort, which he had narrowly lost in 2008.
On election night, Kentucky went as expected to the Republican candidate Massachusetts GovernorMitt Romney over Incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama of Illinois. Obama was reelected but nonetheless, lost Kentucky. In most recent years Democrats have maintained their lead in registered voters compared to Republicans. However, Kentucky is known as a highly conservative state. In most recent presidential elections in Kentucky, Democrats usually achieve lower 40 or upper 30 percent margins. Obama performed significantly worse in 2012 than he did in 2008. Appalachian Kentucky used to be a place were Democrats thrived because of working-class people, particularly coal miners. However this region has become more and more Republican in recent years. Romney performed, for the most part, very well statewide. Obama won four counties. Obama was however able to maintain a solid performance in perhaps the most Democratic place in the state, Jefferson County (Louisville Metro). The other counties Obama won were Franlkin, Eliott and Fayette.
United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2012
Barack Obama's only "opponent" in the primary was the "Uncommited" ballot option, which garnered more than 42% of the primary vote, making Kentucky one of Obama's worst contested primary results.