The Evangelical Left has mostly been low profile this election season. Many liberal evangelicals were quite ecstatic for Barack Obama in 2008. A handful were previously George W. Bush supporters. John McCain still got an overwhelming majority of white evangelicals, about 70 percent, though down from Bush’s full throttle 75 percent in 2004, which fueled fears of theocracy on the far Left. In 2008 Obama did do better among young evangelicals, inspiring expectations that evangelicals were slowly shifting left.
The 2010 mid-term election saw evangelicals, including younger ones, returning strongly to conservative voting habits. Heavy Democratic emphasis on abortion rights, same sex nuptials, and forcing church groups to comply with the Obamacare contraceptive/abortifacient mandate has to have dampened whatever opening there had been among moderate evangelicals. Maybe the Evangelical Left, sensing its opportunities for a major shift are minimal, is avoiding intense engagement that would only stoke a mostly negative reaction from its own potential constituency.
Jim Wallis of Sojourners is the chief icon for the Evangelical Left. In 2008 he was prominently supportive of Obama, about whom he rhapsodized in nearly messianic terms. He is commonly described as a spiritual advisor to the Obama White House. During last summer’s debt ceiling crisis, he helped organize the “Circle of Protection” church coalition that effectively sided with Obama against congressional Republicans.