msnbc | December 30, 2011
>>> our new poll shows ron paul running neck and neck with mitt romney . but there are plenty of iowans who have big problems with the texas congressman. 40% of voters believe paul is an unacceptable nominee, putting a concrete ceiling on how high he can climb in the hawkeye state . domenico montenaro joins us. there's a newt gingrich event underway. about to start. let's talk about ron paul . he's at the top of the polls. some people love him. how can he have so many powerful negatives. and what are they that make him unacceptable.
>> it's interesting. last nights i was out at a romney event. 400 people or so. but a lot of them were undecided. i talked to them about the reason they are actually looking at romney now, even though thought might like other candidates, they said, we don't want iowa to go down in history as having voted for ron paul preponderance they see that as a big problem. these are folks in the central and eastern part of the state who aren't your evangelicals from the western part of the state. that's a big reason for what you're seeing mitt romney 's strength here. and whether or not ron paul can withstand this in the next few days will be telling to see if he can pull out the caucus.
>> breakdown the shift in the polls when it comes to values and the candidate's ability to beat president obama . some people clearly want an ultraconservative. others simply want president obama out.
>> . as you can see on the screen there, just less than a month ago, shares your values. about the same. but can beat president obama . eligibility. when the caucuses start to get close, people pay attention three weeks out. the biggest factor, when you talk to people here, is they want to beat barack obama . if somebody has the chance to win and beat president obama , that's what they want. the big problem you're starting to see with some of the other folks here, santorum, michele bachmann , rick perry , they are all splitting up what would be that anti- romney vote. if they could coaless about one person, they could take romney to the long haul. maybe go to south carolina . if they had enough money to challenge him. they are starting to think if ron paul is the person, then we don't think he's electable. we don't think michele bachmann would be electable.
>> thank you so much. good luck in the new year.