On Monday, it was Mike Huckabee. On Wednesday morning, it was Rand Paul. That afternoon, it was Rick Santorum who dropped out of the race.

What did they have in common? None of them would have qualified for Saturday night’s Republican debate under the rules crafted by ABC News and the Republican National Committee. Only candidates who finish in the top three spots in the Iowa caucuses or in the top six spots in national or New Hampshire polls will make the stage. Also, there won’t be an undercard debate that night. 

Under the set rules, Carly Fiorina likely won’t qualify for the debate either, so will be she the next to leave the race? I caught up with her Wednesday afternoon in Manchester and asked her.

Ground Game: Do you think the debate criteria are making it harder for candidates like you to stay in the race?

Fiorina: No I don’t think they make it difficult for me to stay in the race. I’m staying in the race. But I do think it is ridiculous when there are only eight of us left, that ABC, through some arbitrary decision, or the RNC, decides that I cannot be on the stage. 

Ground Game: What does your path to victory look like right now?

Fiorina: Well, the same path that has gotten me this far. I started out as 17th of 16 candidates. Less than 4 percent of voters knew my name. We were told we couldn’t raise the money, we couldn’t build the team, we couldn’t do any of this, and here we are. Look at the best people we bested: Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal. All these people. Everybody they said we couldn’t beat, we beat them. 

Ground Game: But there are some who say you are next on that list.

Fiorina. No, I am not next on that list. You see, I’ve come further, from further behind than anyone running. I’ve beaten the people, who are ahead of the polls of me here, in Iowa. I have beaten people or tied with them who have spend tens of millions of dollars. No, I am in this for the long haul. 

--James Pindell

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Today and tomorrow, from @BostonGlobe politics reporters

Jeb Bushwho spoke Wednesday of his affection for New Hampshire’s “extraordinarily iconic cafes,” will have some time between public events Thursday to visit a few. Bush tours a manufacturing company in Pittsfield, N.H., in the morning, then has a clear public schedule until a town hall in Derry at 7 p.m. --Jim O'Sullivan

At a town hall meeting in Lebanon, N.H, Chris Christie took some aback with his choice of words on a potential debate with Hillary Clinton. “I’ll beat her rear-end on that stage and you know what? After I do, she’ll be relieved because she’ll just be worried I was going to serve her with a subpoena. It’ll be a relief just to lose the debate.” On Thursday, he is scheduled to hold a town hall in Keene at 9 a.m., a meet and greet in Newport at noon and another town hall in Henniker at 4 p.m. --Sarah Schweitzer

Hillary Clinton released a new TV spot in New Hampshire Wednesday that tries to cast a favorable light on her pragmatic approach to pushing liberal ideas. "The American people can't afford to wait for ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world," said the announcer, a clear shot at Bernie Sanders whose agenda she's said is unrealistic. -- Annie Linskey

Donald Trump unleashed a tweet storm Wednesday morning accusing Ted Cruz of taking part in potentially illegal activity in order to win the Iowa caucuses. In a flurry of tweets, Trump said the Texas senator committed “fraud” and said in Iowa “either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.” “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he illegally stole it,” Trump tweeted, before deleting it and sending it again by removing the word “illegally.” “That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got more votes than anticipated. Bad!” Trump added several more New Hampshire events to his lighter schedule. He returns Thursday for a town hall in Exeter and a rally in Portsmouth. -- Matt Viser

Ted Cruz fired back at Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the real estate mogul of making ludicrous charges about fraud in the Iowa caucuses. In Goffstown, Cruz suggested Trump's second-place finish was of his own doing: "It makes you wonder if his next step is to accuse the people of New Hampshire of being stupid, if he plans to skip the New Hampshire debate." On Thursday, Cruz heads to Portsmouth, Hooksett, Weare, and Laconia. -- Michael Levenson

Holding his 94th town hall with New Hampshire voters, John Kasich made his pitch Wednesday at a Raymond VFW hall that he's a rare moderate in the Republican field. He said he is not beholden to party dogma -- "The Republican Party is my vehicle. It's never been my master. I'm an Ohioan" -- and once brought U2's Bono together with conservative Senator Jesse Helms and liberal standard bearer Ted Kennedy to work on an African debt-relief and public-health package. Kasich is due to hit his 100th town hall on Friday in Bedford. -- Eric Moskowitz

Marco Rubio looked to his wardrobe Wednesday for an answer to a voter’s question about China and tariffs. The candidate flipped over his red necktie and searched in vain for tag indicating whether it was made in China. Rubio did find a quip at the expense of Donald Trump that yielded gasps and laughter from the crowd at Globe Manufacturing in Pittsfield. “It’s not a Trump tie,” Rubio said. “They make those in China.” The freshman US senator continues his New Hampshire tour Thursday with town hall-style tops in Portsmouth, Stratham, Manchester, and Salem. -- Andrew Ryan

Bernie Sanders' Wednesday was in flux with events scheduled, canceled, and then rescheduled as he prepared for the evening's CNN Town Hall. The rescheduled event: an evening news conference at a Concord union hall to highlight his opposition to the sprawling trans-Pacific trade deal. No word yet on Sanders’ whereabouts on Thursday, but Friday he is expected to be in Manchester, speaking at Politics & Eggs in the morning and that night at a major New Hampshire Democratic Party fundraiser. -- Akilah Johnson

Follow @BostonGlobe's 2016 team: @JamesPindell, @Akjohnson1922, @JOSreports, @MViser, @AnnieLinskey, @TracyJan, @SarahSchweitzer, @MLevenson@GlobeRowland@ShiraCenter and @FeliceBelman.  

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