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An evangelical is back from exile, lifting Romney

Published: Friday, Sept. 28 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

July 2009, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed pauses during an interview in Atlanta. (Associated Press) July 2009, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed pauses during an interview in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

Our take: Recent polls show one of Mitt Romney's strongest demographics is evangelicals — yes, that group that political pundits said would never vote for a Mormon, even if he is a Republican. This story in The New York Times shows Romney's not taking evangelical support for granted. He has tapped Ralph Reed, who turned the Christian Coalition into “such a powerful political force that he was called 'God's right-hand man',” to turn out the faith vote in November.

"Ralph Reed is clearly relishing his revival.

"Just six years ago, the man who turned the Christian Coalition into such a powerful political force that he was called “God's right-hand man” was all but written off, tarnished by his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, then trounced in his campaign to become Georgia's lieutenant governor.

"But after several years in political purgatory, Mr. Reed has found his way back.

"At the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., he was sought after by party luminaries and afforded the ultimate status accommodation, a room in the same hotel as Mitt Romney. And soon he plans to unleash a sophisticated, microtargeted get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation that he believes could nudge open a margin of victory if Mr. Romney can keep the race close."

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