Dozens of evangelicals and other conservative leaders decided Saturday to rally around Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential nomination, after meeting in Texas to try and pick a consensus candidate.

The decision comes amid speculation that, among social conservatives reluctant to support frontrunner Mitt Romney, indecision over which GOP candidate to back could end up splitting their vote in the upcoming South Carolina primary — in turn, helping Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has meanwhile launched a campaign to appeal to the values voter base, with new ads aimed at allaying concerns about his abortion record.