Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed is hoping to make a difference in this year's presidential race by launching an old fashioned voter registration drive aimed at turning out evangelical Christians in key battleground states.
Although Reed, now the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is distributing 51 million copies of what he calls a "nonpartisan voter guide" to help educate people about where the two candidates "stand on 10 key issues," his effort is clearly aimed at helping Mitt Romney much more than President Barack Obama.
"We've engaged in a massive voter registration effort," Reed told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday, noting that his drive targets some 17 million evangelical Christians "who didn't bother to go to the polls four years ago when Barack Obama was elected."
He said about half of them weren't registered and the other half just didn't bother to vote.
"We're making sure that at a minimum they're registered, they're informed, they're educated," he said, adding that Faith and Freedom Coalition voter guide covers the candidates' positions — "90 percent in their own words" — on everything from the economy and jobs to marriage and abortion.
Reed is working from his own database of more than 17.1 million evangelicals, most of whom he said could be found in four states — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia — considered crucial to winning the presidency.
According to recent polls, Obama now leads Romney in all four states. But Reed told Van Susteren he believes his voter drive will end up affecting the final outcome.
"In every one of those states, Greta, we believe we'll be able to increase the evangelical turnout from the 2008 baseline by an average of about seven percent," Reed said. "And when that happens, there's going to be a lot of shocked faces in a lot of newsrooms all across America."
Reed said he finds it "interesting," that "in the age of the Internet . . . and all this amazing technology," the race has basically come down to a draw with both sides running an ad "air war of mutual assured destruction" that's costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
"And what's going to decide the outcome of this election, left, right and center, among Republicans, Democrats, as well as independents, among voters of faith, and among all voters, is who knocks on more doors, who makes more phone calls, who burns more shoe leather, who rings more doorbells, and who gets more people to the polls," Reed said.
"I promise you that that is what will decide the outcome of the election. It's very counter intuitive, it's back to the future, but that's what this has all taken us back to."
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