U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
Republican primary front runner Mitt Romney. Reuters

Mitt Romney is leading the polls in New Hampshire, the nations first primary. But the Governor of Iowa, where voters will caucus in the first nominating contest of any kind, says the former Massachusetts Governor is ignoring the Hawkeye state, according to Politico.

I think he's making a big mistake...by not coming here and spending more time, Branstad said at Politico forum in Iowa. I mean Romney is dropping in the polls and I think he thinks that he wants to keep down expectations, you know. Well, his expectations may get really bad if he doesn't get a little more serious.

Branstad also went out of his way to compare Romney to another east coast candidate who ignored the Midwestern state: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani, who was thought to have a problem with the social and christian Conservative in states like Iowa, ignored both Iowa and New Hampshire, focusing his energies on the Florida primary. He ended up losing that state and bowing out of the presidential race.

Romney currently trails Herman Cain in Iowa, according to Real Clear Politics.

Branstad thinks a bad loss in Iowa could derail Romney in New Hampshire and nationally, according to Politico.

I know Romney is putting his focus in New Hampshire, but if he gets clobbered here - if he comes in not in the top three but say fourth or fifth - I think that really damages his campaign on the national [level], Branstad said.