Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) – Six days before South Carolina's presidential primary, Ron Paul scored one of the most sought-after political blessings in the state.
On Sunday, state Sen. Tom Davis endorsed the Texas congressman in Myrtle Beach. Davis is a rising star in Republican circles and a highly regarded fiscal conservative who holds sway over many tea party activists.
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Paul himself told CNN the nod would bring "a lot of attention for me."
In a packed hotel conference room at a Paul campaign event, Davis stepped onto a stage in front of a few hundred Paul loyalists and explained why he would support Paul over his rivals in the GOP presidential race.
"One of the nice things about being in South Carolina every four years is you get to meet candidates first hand. And I've had that chance," Davis said.
The state senator called former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman "a fine man" and was equally kind to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
"At the end of the day, when I sat down, I realized there were a lot of good people running for this race," Davis said. "But there's only one person, there's only one person speaking to what I believe is the core problem of our country today. The biggest threat to our liberty comes from debt."
"There is only one candidate that is talking about this problem to the degree, at the scale and with the scope that it needs to be talked about. You can't nibble around the edges anymore."
Davis' endorsement of Paul could help the Texas congressman ahead of South Carolina's first-in-the-South presidential primary on January 21. A recent American Research Group survey in the state shows a tight race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Gingrich and Paul.
Yet Davis' endorsement also highlights a problem seen among Republicans nationwide: like-minded conservatives are unable to coalesce around one candidate.
Among the state's Republican leaders, Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Romney, popular state conservative Rep. Mick Mulvaney has backed Perry, and Rep. Joe Wilson previously backed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race after a disappointing finish in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last summer.
Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham and popular tea party figure Rep. Tim Scott have not endorsed a candidate.
After speaking at the event himself, CNN asked Paul why the Davis endorsement mattered.
"Well because he's very popular. And he's going to get a lot of support and he's going to get a lot of attention for me," Paul said. "And he's a believer."