Romney plays expectations game in N.H.

CNN Wire Service

Mitt Romney strove to manage expectations in advance of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, just as one high-profile supporter seemed to raise them Friday.

Romney told a packed audience at a spaghetti dinner in Tilton that he couldn’t take his commanding lead for granted three days before the primary.

“I know some pollsters say I’m doing real well. Let me tell you, those polls, they can just disappear overnight,” Romney said, comparing the polling process to dating. “It’s like well, I might try this but you know, getting married, that’s something else.”

But in introductory remarks, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley urged voters to deliver a substantial victory to Romney to propel him “with the biggest momentum possible” into the next voting contest in her home state.

“I want this to be the biggest margin yet,” she told the audience.

Most state polls in New Hampshire show Romney leading his rivals by more than 20 points.

Staying on message, Romney closed his stump speech with another reminder he hadn’t won yet, and appealed to voters to keep working hard on his presidential effort.

“I need all the help I can get,” he said. “I need you to get out there. Give me a bigger margin than 8 votes if you possibly can.”

Romney bested former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by 8 votes in Iowa — a slim margin Romney has joked amounted to a “landslide” victory.

After another speech in which the GOP candidate trained his fire solely on President Obama, Romney was asked by an audience member about negative advertising in the primary and whether the field could coalesce around a nominee.

“If I’m not the nominee, I will be supporting our nominee and working for him,” Romney said, adding candidates should be able to “put our egos and bruised feelings aside.”

“If there’s a candidate who thinks this campaign is about them, they’re wrong,” he said.

Romney was also asked by a woman in the audience if he would give up some of his wealth to help struggling Americans.

The woman told Romney she was struggling, and added: “It’s a little hard for me because I know you’re a multimillionaire. I read that you have four houses. Would you be willing to give up some of that so that we middle class Americans could get some tax cuts?”

“That’s an idea!” he responded. “Okay, well let’s see. I don’t have four houses, that’s number one, although it’s a good idea.”

Romney, who owns three homes, told the woman he could best help by becoming president and turning around the economy.