POLITICS

Social conservative conclave unites behind Santorum to derail Romney

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A group of social conservative leaders is backing Rick Santorum in the GOP presidential race in a bid to stop Mitt Romney's momentum.

Evangelicals were among about 150 conservatives voting in Texas on Saturday to back Santorum rather than former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Many feel Romney cannot be stopped unless conservatives unite behind one rival.

Participant Tony Perkins said Santorum got 75 percent of the vote against Gingrich after the group discussed earlier balloting in which Santorum's margin was smaller.

It's unclear whether the group will influence the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary.

Some conservative activists oppose Romney because he supported abortion rights while Massachusetts governor.

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