It should be noted that not every county in the region is ancestrally Democrat: Martin and Johnson Counties stayed overwhelmingly Republican through the New Deal and until today (although Clinton did very well there and even carried Martin in 1996 and Johnson twice thanks to Perot), and Lawrence County has leaned Republican through the years (with a few exceptions).
Here's the 2012 map (with proper Republican Blue and Communist Red). Only Elliott County voted for Obama in Coal Country, but he got under 50%, as compared to the 61% he got in 2008 and the 70% that Kerry got in 2004:
Here's the 2008 map, with four coal counties going for Obama:
Here's 2004, when Kerry carried all but one of the ancestrally Democrat counties in the region (Morgan County, where he got 48%, 4% better than Gore):
And here's 2000, with Gore doing very well in the SE KY counties along the VA and TN borders (many of those were in Rogers's CD even before 1992, right, DJ?), but not as well as Kerry would in the core Coal Country counties:
Just like the fact that every single county in WV voted Republican for president this year (perhaps the only time it's ever happened, although Lincon may have done it in 1864, WV's first presidential election; even in 1972, when Nixon had a larger margin in WV than did Romney, McGovern carried Logan County 51%-49%) does not mean that Demcorats can't win House races in WV (as proven by Nick Joe Rahall, who won once again in the WV-03), KY Coal Country abandoning Obama in 2012 may be an ephemeral realignment, or no realignment at all. If we can stick those coal counties that voted for Kerry in 2004 in the same district as Lafayette (which keeps getting more Democrat), Frankfort (ditto--Franklin County was one of only nine (IIRC) to vote for McCain in 2008 and Obama in 2012) and Democrat parts of Louisville, it will allow us to draw five safe GOP House districts for perpetuity. 5 out of 6 is 83%--I'll take it.
I do believe the realignment is real in those areas. The national Dem party has become so viscerally hostile not only to coal, but to the cultural values of this region. 2000 was seemingly a fluke given the historical preferences, 2004 was a validation that even though usually Dem, they will support a GOP incumbent, but 2008 was a trend and 2012 was a pretty clear-cut realignment. While they may be more sympathetic to a White Dem, I think the horses are out of the proverbial barn.
WV was moving back towards the GOP at the legislative level in the early ‘70s, but Watergate halted the progress (as it did in most other Southern states), but we’re now more deeply enmeshed there than in 1972. Only the power of incumbency for the Dems there and in parts of KY keep them in office, and that is crumbling. I think once the GOP goes above majority status in the KY House & WV House, which may happen in the next cycle, the near-perpetual Dem lock on the statewide offices will finally fall across the board.