Trump drives social media conversation

Trump drives social media conversation

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGingrich: Trump ‘mishandled’ Rosenstein memo on Comey Trump to gift Macron framed upholstery: report Former presidents, first ladies come together to honor Barbara Bush 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 CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules 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 PaulGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel CIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes 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.