Did evangelical support for Santorum sink him in South Carolina?

On January 14, Rick Santorum announced that he had become the consensus social conservative candidate by virtue of a vote at a meeting of 150 social conservatives in Texas.

On that date, he was polling at 14.7% in South Carolina, according to Real Clear Politics. Today, one day before the South Carolina primary, Santorum has declined to 11.2% while Newt Gingrich, the other contender for the social conservative vote, has surged into the lead, now at 32.4%.

Gingrich is surging despite losing out in the Texas sweepstakes and the accusation from his ex-wife that he sought an open marriage prior to their divorce.

Santorum had started to sink on January 10 so perhaps his decline is related to something other than the evangelical endorsements. In any case, the endorsements, for all of the fanfare from the evangelical leaders, have not had the desired effect. Apparently, they do not have the clout they imagined.

For a different slant, see the results of this Lifeway survey: Talking about personal faith may not have desired effect.