Maryann Tobin

If ever there was a political scheme that was destined to fail, it may be the Republican coup to unseat President Barack Obama in the 2012 elections.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was the first to publically admit that his primary goal was to make Obama a one-term president, and he has been doing everything he can to fulfill that mission. But like a badly handled weapon missing the target, the collateral damage of the GOP war against Obama has been more than the economy. An American way of life is being threatened in ways that the public has less tolerance for every day.

So how does this translate into a victory for President Obama? The answer is the low approval rating of Congress and the Electoral College.

"With 217 Electoral Votes (counting the Lean Obama states), the President would need 53 more Electoral Votes of the 130 available in the swing states of CO (9), FL (29), IA (6), NC (15), NH (4), NV (6), OH (18), PA (20), VA (13) and WI (10). The Republican nominee with 191 Electoral Votes (counting the leaning CD) would need 79 Electoral Votes from this grouping of states to win," according to the Atlas Project. The Cook Political Report also paints a path to victory for President Obama with wins in just half of the current toss up states.

Every move the Republicans make that validates their promotion of dysfunctional governing, also brings Obama one step closer to a second term. Another factor is the GOP candidate. Even Republicans are unhappy with their choice of candidates and the party itself is divided.

The right wing and Tea Party have been so aggressive in pushing their extremist agenda, the overflow to the states may be a strong influence in the 2012 presidential elections. Wisconsin Democrats took back two Democratic seats in recall elections this past August. Governor Scott Walker is also facing organized efforts to recall him from office because of his union-busting leadership. If Walker is removed from office, Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes could easily move from the toss up column into the Obama tally.

Bill Clinton coined the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." But that may only be partly true in the 2012 elections.

While lower unemployment rates would surely help Obama, Republican efforts to prioritize defeating the president over jobs and compromise governing may carry more weight in the voting booth than just the unemployment rate.

The political wind in America can change in a heartbeat, as demonstrated by the rotating leaders in the Republican race to the GOP nomination.

The ultimate factor in the Obama edge may indeed be based on fear, but not the kind the GOP has been spinning. Radical conservatives have done their best to paint Obama in a bad light, but it pales in comparison to the havoc the Republican Party has wreaked on the democratic process. Filibusters, temper tantrums, and unprecedented dysfunction are the marks of the GOP now -- hardly a work ethic worthy of repeating.

In just one short year, America's approval rating of the Republican-controlled congress has dropped to just 11%, according to Fox News. If even half of those numbers translate into anti-Republican votes, Obama 2012 may prove that aiming to destroy an entire country when the target is just one man is not just poor marksmanship, it is political suicide.

Over-reach is a phrase that has been associated with the Republican Party since taking control of the House in 2010, and it is exactly that blatant disregard for the will of voters that has the potential to make Obama's 2012 re-election more likely than if Republicans had simply gone to Washington and gotten the job done.


Middle class: Why vote for a Republican?