While it’s looking increasingly likely that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the Palmetto State’s pivotal “First in the South” presidential primary on Saturday, there’s yet another poll suggesting that the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was more of a hindrance than a help in his effort.

According to a Monmouth University survey released on Tuesday, Haley’s endorsement was a non-factor – if not a net negative for Romney.

While the poll found that 89 percent of likely Republican primary voters were aware of Haley’s endorsement of the Bay State politician, a  whopping 71 percent said it made no impact on their presidential preference. Of those who were impacted by Haley’s endorsement, eight percent said it made them “more likely” to vote for Romney compared to 21 percent who said they were “less likely” to support him.

Ouch …

That data is consistent with a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released last week. In that poll, just 14 percent of likely South Carolina Republican primary voters say that they would be “more likely” to support a candidate based on Haley’s endorsement. Meanwhile twenty-five percent said that Haley’s backing would make them “less likely” to support a candidate.

Last month, a Winthrop University poll revealed that Haley – billed in the national press as a “popular governor” – had an anemic 34.6 percent approval rating in South Carolina, including a 52.5 percent approval rating among Republicans.

In spite of Haley, Romney is cruising in South Carolina.

The Monmouth poll has him receiving the support of 33 percent of likely primary voters – well ahead of Newt Gingrich (22 percent), Rick Santorum (14 percent) and Ron Paul (12 percent).

The Monmouth poll surveyed 963 likely primary voters in South Carolina between January 12-15. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent. To view the results of the poll for yourself, click on the link below …