What happened to Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and world-class homophobe?
Lost in all the Newtmania from South Carolina was the fact that Santorum—the choice of many leading evangelicals—finished third yesterday, well behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
And this was in South Carolina, home to many, many evangelicals. Some of them, apparently, fell under the spell of Newt, notwithstanding the former House Speaker's three (count 'em!) marriages and a laundry list of ethical baggage.
As John Avlon of The Daily Beast has noted, Santorum was endorsed last week by a high-level group of evangelical leaders including Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Gary Bauer. But the Palmetto State religious right failed to play along.
"If the leaders of the religious right can't deliver a victory for their chosen candidate here, where can they do it?" Avlon asks.
Last we heard, Santorum had vowed to fight on despite his dismal showing in South Carolina. But Santorum looks increasingly like a presidential loser, joining the ranks of such washouts as Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee and, more recently, Michele Bachmann.