Reed’s Digest

ralph reed
Even though abortion has become a mobilizing issue for Democrats, Ralph Reed told me that he believes the pro-choice backlash is a “sugar high” that will eventually crash. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
May 29, 2024

Ralph Reed has long been one of the more polarizing figures in American politics. As the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition in the 1990s, he worked on converting the tens of millions of people who were swept up in the exploding televangelist movement into reliable Republican voters. Later, he was born again as a political consultant and lobbyist. His political advocacy group, Faith and Freedom Coalition, has said it plans to spend $62 million on evangelical voter turnout for the November election.  

The fulcrum of that effort, of course, will be the issue of abortion in the post-Roe landscape. After voters showed up in huge numbers in favor of ballot initiatives in Missouri, Ohio, and Kentucky to protect the right to abortion, Democrats are betting that this works in their favor come November—not just to guarantee abortion access state-by-state, but to topple a few Republicans while they’re at it, including Donald Trump (whose own position on abortion remains murky).