First, Kentucky has not moved much historically in terms of state rank of personal income per capita (minus transfer payments) from 1958 to 2013 (we're still 46th!). So, if the "war on coal" was so damaging, something else must have risen to offset the lost income.
According to the BEA, personal income in Kentucky was $159.2 billion dollars in 2013, 98.8% coming from non-farm occupations.So, farming does not put that much in the pockets of Kentuckians-- about $1.5 billion in 2013. Of the non-farm income, a little more than $1.8 billion came from mining earnings, (down from its 2008 peak of $2.4 billion). So, coal represents roughly 1% of the entire Kentucky economy. Together, both farming and mining have not (since 1990) made up more than 4.6% of Kentuckian's income.
11.4 thousand work in mining (less than 1%). That is down from a recent high in 1990 of 29.3 thousand. About 4,300 people work in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations (this does not count people who own or live on farms). In other words, the political ads seem to suggest that a small minority of people in Kentucky have a huge sway in how we should vote.
Likewise, distribution, science, and professional service-related industries generate over $5 billion in earnings for the Louisville region alone.
So, where's the money, where's the growth, where's the future for Kentucky? In areas other than coal and farming. Why not celebrate a little more on the growth in these areas rather than focusing on the relative decline of a very small sector of the economy? Where do you aspire for your children and grandchildren to work? Are these areas reflected in the advertisements intended to sway your vote?