After spending most of 2011 at the bottom of the polls, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum managed to experience a surge large enough to make a brutally close second-place finish at the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday. Santorum, a staunch Catholic who has long-since framed himself as a family values candidate -- many people may have been distracted from that detail after putting his name through a Google search -- may have received a significant boost from a medium with heavy pull in the modern world: reality television.

The Duggar family, famous for their TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting,  flocked to Iowa days before the caucuses to lend their support to Santorum, even though as Arkansas residents the members of the brood who made the trip were unable to cast a vote.

Jim Bob Duggar, the family's famously-virile patriarch, told media outlets that he and his wife, Michelle, decided to support Santorum after much consideration and prayer. While acknowledging that none of the candidates are perfect, Jim Bob told Fox News that Santorum ultimately won their support because he has a proven record at lowering taxes, supporting less government and he is the author of the bill banning partial-birth abortion.

After reportedly staying up all night on New Year's Eve to paint their tour bus to feature the slogan Join the Fight: Santorum for President, Jim Bob and 12 of his 19 children made the journey to Iowa. The family spent Monday and Tuesday drawing sizable crowds at Santorum campaign events.

19 Kids and Counting, which follows the life of the conservative Christian family, brings in millions of viewers of each week and has catapulted the Duggar's to international stardom. Jim Bob told Fox he hoped to use his family's celebrity to shine a spotlight on Santorum's qualifications and emphasize which values should be important to conservative voters.

The Duggar's were far from the only Christian conservatives who decided to side themselves with Santorum's camp. Although Romney was the narrow winner of the caucuses, polls indicate that evangelical Christians, as well as social and moral conservatives, are still reluctant to ally themselves with the former Massachusetts governor, whose moderate gubernatorial record has haunted him in Iowa.

Entrance polls indicate Santorum took about 32 percent of born-again Christian votes, while 57 percent of his supporters said abortion laws were the most important issue to them, The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, Romney took 34 percent of those who said the economy was their top issue, while 49 percent of his supporters said they were mainly looking for a candidate that could beat President Obama in 2012.

Santorum is the logical choice for Christian conservatives and family-values advocates. Although Romney is expected to win the GOP nomination, his Mormon faith has hindered his chances with born-again voters, while Santorum's record -- which includes a steadfast and vocal opposition of same-sex marriage, authorship of an amendment advocating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools and demonization of contraceptives as a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be -- appeals to belief of the Christian far-right.

That is exactly why Jim Bob Duggar believes conservatives need to stop focusing on choosing someone who will defeat Obama, and instead choose a candidate that will represent their interests, morally and politically. The Duggar family is considering driving their bus to South Carolina to continue campaigning for Santorum.

There have been so many candidates over the past few months who have risen to the top and dropped off and they had all kinds of baggage in their closet, and I think that has caused a lot of confusion, Duggar said. We are coming to Iowa to let people know that if you are looking for a family values candidate this is your man

Of course, like Mike Huckabee before him, Santorum will soon discover that the evangelical vote can only take him so far. According to a CNN/ORC poll conducted on Tuesday night, only about 10 percent of New Hampshire primary voters say they will cast their ballot for Santorum.