The Signal

Evangelical leaders endorse Santorum, to Romney’s benefit

David Pennock
The Signal

Almost two hundred evangelical leaders gathered on a Texas ranch over the weekend to make one last anyone-but-Romney stand, coming to a near-consensus and endorsing Rick Santorum as their Republican candidate of choice.

Santorum immediately enjoyed a small but significant boost in the prediction markets, nearly doubling his chance of winning the South Carolina Republican primary next Saturday from about 2.5 percent to almost 6 percent.

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Candidates' chances of winning the South Carolina Republican primary, as of 1/15/2012

Candidates' chances of winning the South Carolina Republican primary, as of 1/15/2012

Yet, another candidate seems to have benefited indirectly from the endorsement: Mitt Romney. His chance according to prediction markets Intrade and Betfair also rose, from about 75 percent to 80 percent. Our guess is that this is because the endorsement probably hurts second-place Newt Gingrich, who is vying for the pool of socially conservative voters who might be swayed by the endorsement.

David Pennock is a research scientist at Yahoo! Research. Follow him on twitter @pennockd.

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