Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Sen Ted Cruz of Texas are among the GOP leaders addressing a conference of top social conservative activists and leaders that aims to build momentum for Republicans to win back majorities in the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.
While Pence, DeSantis and Cruz are all considered potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder and chairman Ralph Reed told Fox News that the focus of his group’s 12th annual Road to the Majority Conference, which starts on Thursday, is firmly on next year’s elections.
FAITH AND FREEDOM ROAD TO MAJORITY CONFERENCE STREAMING LIVE ON FOX NATION
Pointing to this November’s election in Virginia, where the GOP hopes to win the governor’s office for the first time in a dozen years, Reed said that “the focus is building that majority and that begins in 2021 in Virginia, getting Virginia back on track, and 2022 in every key CD [congressional district] and those key Senate and governors races.”
Reed, who grabbed national attention in the 1990s as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition, founded the Faith and Freedom Coalition in 2009. The organization was instrumental in turning out evangelical voters in 2016 and 2020 for former President Trump
Looking ahead to 2022, when the GOP needs a net gain of just one Senate seat to win back the majority in the chamber, and five seats to regain control of the House, Reed emphasized the importance of a strong ground game.
He said his group is “utilizing the most state of the art technology available to us, to identify both unregistered evangelicals and get them registered, and identify registered evangelical voters and turn them out at record numbers. And we’re going to be doing a lot of breakout sessions on blocking and tackling, building a precinct organization, organizing your church.”
Reed shared that “we’re going to be road testing some of our new technologies and strategies in Virginia in the fall and then we plan to take them national in every key battleground congressional district and Senate and gubernatorial race in 2022.”
HOUSE GOP REELECTION ARM POSTS THIRD STRAIGHT MONTHLY FUNDRAISING RECORD
He said that also high on the list of priorities at the conference is discussing “a muscular and robust critique and opposition to the Biden Administration’s radical left wing agenda” as well as coming up “with a compelling policy agenda for 2022 and 2024 so that it’s not just what your against but what you’re for.”
Reed highlighted his group’s push to diversify, saying “we’ve very excited about the strides were making in that area.”
Pointing to the Hispanic, African American and Asian American pastors and community organizers taking part in this year’s conference – which is attracting roughly 3,000 attendees – he said “between one out of every three and one out of every four attendees with be a minority.”
Reed emphasized that “this is not new to us, we’ve been doing this since we were founded. But with Donald Trump’s reelection [campaign], when we overperformed among Blacks and Hispanics, it was really a big part of our ground game in places like Texas, Florida and elsewhere.”
Among those speaking during the three-day confab in Orlando, Florida, are Pence, DeSantis (who is keynoting the conference), Cruz, as well as Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida. All are considered potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders.
While the gathering could be considered an early cattle call in the next White House nomination race, Reed said he doesn’t “view it that way.”
“We have a lot of friends who may run for president and we’re for our friends, but this conference is not about 2024 and the focus is not a 2024 cattle call,” he said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
But Reed pointed out that at the 2015 Road to Majority conference, during the early stages of the wide open race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, “we had 15 of the 17 candidates there.”
And looking to the future, he said “the real cattle call will be in 2023.”