By Jesse Byrnes
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersAide: Trump 'happy' to debate Sanders Sanders camp: Discussions underway for Trump debate The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE again stole much of the buzz on social media during the latest Republican debate on Thursday night.
Sanders had two of the most retweeted tweets during the debate, with a pair touting his position in polls and going after GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpClinton fundraises off news that Trump clinched nomination WATCH LIVE: Trump holds press conference after clinching GOP nomination Dem senator: DNC head ‘has to make a decision’ on future role MORE's proposal to ban Muslims from the U.S. Both got more than 5,000 retweets:
Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton fundraises off news that Trump clinched nomination Dem senator: DNC head ‘has to make a decision’ on future role Aide: Trump 'happy' to debate Sanders MORE, whom Sanders is battling closely in Iowa and New Hampshire, also shared a tweet going after Trump's vow to "make America great again" that received nearly 3,000 retweets:
I have a message for Donald Trump: No, we’re not going to hate Latinos or Muslims. We are going to stand together. #GOPDebate— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 15, 2016
Trump, who has the largest number of followers at 5.69 million compared to Clinton's 5.12 million and Sanders's 1.14 million, did not tweet during the debate in South Carolina though he led much of the online conversation.
Here's the truth: You can't make America greater by insulting, shaming, and demonizing the people of America. #GOPdebate— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 15, 2016
Sanders trailed only Trump in follower growth during the debate, with Ted CruzTed CruzTrump clinches GOP nomination Eleven states sue Obama over transgender bathroom directive Poll: Clinton leads Trump in Wisconsin by double digits MORE and Marco RubioMarco RubioRNC official defends Susana Martinez after Trump criticism GOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban Trump clinches GOP nomination MORE gaining the third- and fourth-most followers, respectively.
Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Defense: VA chief 'deeply' regrets Disney remark; Senate fight brews over Gitmo Paul ties release of 9/11 docs to defense bill Will Ted Cruz let it go? MORE, who boycotted the undercard debate after being dropped from the prime-time stage, came in fifth in follower growth.
Sanders has a vocal online following and has more than once before received the most online buzz during GOP debates.