Ahead of NH primary, Romney's rivals have back-to-back debates to try to trip up front-runner

Recent polls in New Hampshire show Mitt Romney with at least a 20-point lead over his nearest rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2011, file photo, Republican presidential candidates former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, pose before a Republican presidential debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich. When it comes to education, the Republican field of presidential candidates has a unified stance to get the federal government out of schools, but disagree on methods. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Recent polls in New Hampshire show Mitt Romney with at least a 20-point lead over his nearest rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

But the front-runner is trying to guard against complacency. He's telling supporters at a campaign stop in Derry, N.H., that "polls come and go" and things can "change very quickly" before Tuesday's primary.

Newt Gingrich has been talking of merely holding Romney's total under 50 percent in New Hampshire.

Polls put Rep. Ron Paul second in the state. He's focusing his criticism on Rick Santorum, who overtook the Texas congressman in Iowa. Paul says the former senator from Pennsylvania brags about supporting a balanced budget amendment but never did anything about it.

Santorum has run into hostile questions about his opposition to gay marriage and comments about homosexuality at campaign appearances in New Hampshire.

The candidates are getting ready for back-to-back debates: An ABC News/WMUR debate tonight followed by an NBC News/Facebook debate tomorrow morning on "Meet the Press."

The debates are the 14th and 15th of the Republican race. With less than 12 hours separating them, Romney quips "Why even stop?"


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