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Trump drives social media conversation

Trump drives social media conversation

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE is not only leading the field in the polls, he is also driving the social media conversation during the Republican presidential debate.

In the first hour of the debate Thursday on Fox Business Network, Trump led 33 percent of the Twitter conversation, according to data from the social media company.

Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSasse statement: Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories has a ‘tinfoil hat’ Coalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill For the sake of our democracy, politicians must stop bickering MORE followed, with 25 percent of the conversation, then Ben Carson, at 11 percent, and Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush tied at 10 percent.

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The billionaire GOP front-runner also gained the most Twitter followers during that hour, followed by Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Rand Paul calls for punishment if Congress can't reach a long-term budget deal MORE, Cruz, Rubio and Chris Christie.

Paul did not qualify for the main-debate stage and boycotted the undercard debate. Instead, he invited supporters to join him in an online Facebook town hall during the earlier bout.

Since the debate started, Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have also seen big Twitter growth — more than all GOP candidates except Trump, Paul and Cruz.

On Facebook, Trump was the most-discussed candidate overall. Cruz was second, followed by Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Chris Christie.

The top moment, according to data obtained from Facebook, was during a fight between Cruz and Trump over Cruz’s eligibility to be president. “I’m not going to take legal advice from Donald Trump,” Cruz told the audience.

The top issues discussed on Facebook include Iran, immigration, ISIS, the economy and guns.

Trump has consistently dominated the social media conversation in previous GOP debates.

This story was updated at 11:52 p.m.