Carly Fiorina came in seventh place in Iowa this week, but it could have been worse: She could be Jeb Bush.
In a private conference call with donors, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO sought to reassure supporters that she can still win the Republican nomination, and compared her team’s spending with Bush’s massive and futile investment in the first caucus state.
“I want to review where we are coming out of Iowa,” Fiorina said. “We are tied with Jeb Bush in delegate count. Jeb Bush spent tens of millions of dollars in Iowa.”
Bush finished slightly ahead of Fiorina in Iowa — with the support of 2.8 percent of caucusgoers, compared to her 1.9 percent — but they each came away with only one delegate. Fiorina and her allies spent much less than Bush and his supporters for their respective delegates.
A super PAC backing Bush spent nearly $15 million on television advertisements in Iowa, while an outside group working closely with Fiorina’s campaign spent a mere $434,691 on television ads, according to data from SMG Delta. The votes for Fiorina essentially cost $125 apiece, while Bush and his allies paid $2,835 per vote.
Fiorina’s campaign is heading into New Hampshire “feeling very, very good about where we are,” she said Monday. She pointed out that she placed ahead of two sitting governors — New Jersey’s Chris Christie and John Kasich of Ohio — and two previous Iowa caucus winners, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. She noted that eight candidates have already dropped out of the race, including Huckabee, Santorum and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who ended his bid on Wednesday.
“We are in this for the long haul, folks,” Fiorina said.