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Silicon Valley gives conservative Christians a boost

September 15, 2011, 12:32 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli
Los Angeles Times
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Predictions that Christian conservatives will increase their political force haven’t always materialized in the past. But veteran organizers say this year holds great promise.

“Obama has awakened the sleeping giant of the social conservative vote,” said Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, who leads a new organization focused on grass-roots voter outreach. “Whether every lofty plan to register and educate evangelical and Catholic voters comes to fruition or not, the multiplicity and intensity of the efforts underway suggest Obama and the Democrats will compete on a much more even playing field than they were in 2008.”

Democratic organizers also attest to the potential, which has prompted religious advocates on the left to expand their organizing efforts.

“We will roll out plans in battleground states that will give the right a run for their money,” said the Rev. Jennifer Butler of the liberal group Faith in Public Life, which this cycle plans to triple the $1 million it spent on voter outreach and education in 2008.

Other left-leaning groups jumping into the fray include PICO National Network, a California-based activist group connected to more than 1,000 congregations in 17 states that has a budget of about $25 million.

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