Rick Santorum has picked up a last-minute endorsement in Nevada from Sharron Angle, a popular Tea Party figure who ran unsuccessfully against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010.

Angle, a former Nevada assemblywoman, told the conservative National Review Online on Thursday that she was endorsing Santorum because he is a strong fiscal and social conservative who stands on principles above politics.

Rick Santorum and I have known each other for years, Angle said. He has never wavered in his support for family values, understanding the impact that strong families have on a prosperous economy. His continuous opposition to amnesty, Obamacare, the bailouts, and cap-and-trade are a perfect fit with our Main Street Tea Party movement.

Santorum welcomed the endorsement, although it was unclear how much of an impact it would have in the two days remaining before the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.

Sharron Angle is a fighter and proved how important it is to take the fight to liberals like Harry Reid, he said in a statement. Despite tens of millions of dollars thrown against her, Sharron did not back down and stood tall for repealing Obamacare and for the traditional values that make America great. I am thrilled to receive her endorsement, and I am confident it will be a terrific boon to our campaign as the Nevada caucus approaches.

Santorum Currently Third in Nevada

Santorum -- who won the narrowest of upset victories in Iowa but faded in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida -- was third in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll of likely Nevada caucus-goers, with 11 percent support. That put him far behind Mitt Romney (45 percent) and Newt Gingrich (25 percent) and just barely ahead of Ron Paul (9 percent). The former Pennsylvania senator and stalwart conservative risks finishing in last place in Nevada if Paul outperforms his poll numbers, which he is expected to do thanks to his strong grassroots organization.

Santorum is competing primarily with Gingrich for the support of conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers. Most Tea Partiers went for Gingrich in the Las Vegas Review-Journal poll, and if Angle's endorsement has the potential to do anything, it would be to shift some of that Tea Party support to Santorum. But that would be a drop in the bucket compared to the ground he would have to make up to win the nomination, and the more voters conclude that Santorum can't get that nomination, the less likely they will be to vote for him, even if they like his positions.

Santorum is a dead politician walking at this point, said Charles Zelden, a historian at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Newt, for whatever reason, has grabbed [conservatives]. As it becomes more and more clear to people that are likely to vote for Santorum that he is not going to be the candidate, they are more likely to look at the other options.