Davenport, Iowa -- Newt Gingrich walked back on previous statements that he didn't expect to win in Iowa.

He told an crowd of about a hundred people gathered at his campaign office here that he had been "chewed out" by a precinct captain who told him during the tele-town hall that he was making things difficult by lowering expectations. Gingrich said the precinct captain "said to me I should not under any circumstances do anything except potentially win tomorrow night" because he was "confident that by the time he was done, he would have converted all the people he foolishly thought they might vote for Romney to be for me."

Gingrich declared, "So I'm here to tell you, when you have 41 percent undecided in the des moines register poll, if each of you in the next 24 hours will talk to every one of ur friends, and if each of you would go to the caucus and will make the best possible argument for nominating an experienced conservative with a national record of achieving things, we may pull off one of the great upsets in the history of the Iowa caucuses."

Earlier on Tuesday, Gingrich told reporters, "I don't think I'm going to win. If you look at the numbers, that volume of negativity has done enough damage. But on the other hand if the Des Moines Register was right and 41% potentially undecided, who knows what's going to happen."

Gingrich told the audience in Davenport his quote had been taken out of context. "I answered a question inaccurately this morning and it got to be a little bit of a flurry because I made the amateur mistake of...a compound sentence. I want to explain to my friends in the media and you because what happens is you can cut compound sentences in half. So you drop the qualifier."

In Virginia last week, Gingrich had said he expected to finish third or fourth in Iowa.