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Mitt Romney predicts Iowa loss, N.H. win

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks with supporters after the debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, S.C. AP Photo/Richard Shiro

Tipping his hand about his primary strategy, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney reportedly told a group of campaign donors Monday that he thinks he will likely lose in Iowa, win in New Hampshire and seal the nomination by winning Florida's high-stakes primary.

Campaign donors who attended a private Tallahassee fundraiser told the St. Petersburg Times that Romney predicted a tea party favorite would win the Iowa caucus, and that he was sure he would win the New Hampshire primary. He also told the crowd he could spend nothing in Iowa and come in fourth or spend a little and finish second or third. He guessed that Republicans might split the first three events (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina), which would make Florida particularly important.

"Clearly they are competitive in Iowa, but you never know how it's going to come out there," one of the event hosts, state Rep. Will Weatherford, told the newspaper.

Romney also looked ahead to a general election campaign against President Barack Obama, predicting that the former Massachusetts governor could win the general election if he captures Florida, Ohio and Michigan.

The fundraiser was held at the Governor's Club in Tallahassee.