John Eidsmoe writes in his 1984 God and Caesar, that around 1976 evangelical Christians were animated to vote for a born-again Christian. His name was Jimmy Carter. Eidsmoe observes that few paid any attention “to whether or not Carter’s stand on the issues was compatible with their own (ix).” He writes that by 1980 the evangelical community was more sophisticated and came to the realization that “being born again was not in itself enough of a reason to vote for a candidate.” Evangelical voters since the late 70’s have remained interested in the candidate’s spiritual status, but they have since become more concerned with the candidate’s stand on issues. They want to know if his positions comport with a Christian view of the world.
I would argue that there needs to be an increased call to maturity to evangelical voters 30 years later. However, hopefully we will have learned our lesson: born-again is not enough.