Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina assured donors in a Wednesday conference call that her campaign would not be among the growing list of casualties coming out of the Iowa caucuses, and that she intended to carry on "all the way to Cleveland."
Fiorina's reassurances come on the heels of reports that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is ending his bid for the GOP nomination. Santorum is the third Republican to leave the race since Monday's Iowa caucuses. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also have suspended their campaigns.
Assessing the Iowa results, a defiant Fiorina said she is "tied with Jeb Bush in the delegate count," despite the millions Bush spent in Iowa, and that she "feels very, very good about where we are."
"This was always going to be a very long game" Fiorina said, adding that, with such a large field of GOP candidates, it would be a "process of elimination before it was a process of selection."
Fiorina took aim at the February 6 GOP debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, noting that under the criteria set by debate host ABC News, she would not be invited to participate.
"We will be sending an open letter to the Republican National Committee," Fiorina said, demanding that "voters, not networks, choose the candidates.
"We will demand our rightful place on the debate stage," she said.
Under ABC's current rules, only the top three vote-getters in Iowa, and candidates polling in the top six either in New Hampshire, or nationally, will be allowed in the debate.
Fiorina told donors that her campaign has "husbanded our resources for the long haul," and "I will not falter ... game on."
Joining Fiorina was her New Hampshire state director, Ovide Lamontagne, who reassured donors that "we have the best candidate in the field, bar none."
Lamontagne said there was "good energy for Carly" in the state and "no question people really like her."
One question that has arisen: Can she win?
"She can win, and must win, in order to beat Hillary Clinton in the fall," Lamontagne said.
He added that despite polls showing Fiorina lagging the rest of the field, there are "a lot of undecided voters" and that "what I see on the ground is very encouraging."