We're still seven months away from the Iowa caucuses, but the competition among the presidential candidates for your Facebook likes and Twitter faves has already begun.
That's because with 15 Republican candidates trying to win people over, much like high school, your numbers on Twitter and Facebook have become a way to measure popularity.
"This also means a very direct way of reaching potential voters out there. I mean, there’s no filter," said a CBS reporter.
"That’s the real appeal, yeah," said CNET's Dan Ackerman.
"Because in the past you'd have this gaggle of reporters. Things would kind of be filtered, for lack of a better word," said the CBS reporter.
"Well, that’s what Twitter is; it basically ... makes anyone a broadcaster," said Ackerman.
Of course, there's one candidate who broadcasts better than the rest — New York businessman Donald Trump, who has 3.26 million Twitter followers and more than 26,000 tweets — each one more provocative than the last. (Video via Donald Trump)
For comparison, his closest GOP competitor, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, has only 763,000 followers, which is still a lot more than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who max out at 230,000 and 160,000, respectively.
And looking through their tweets, it's not hard to see why Trump is on top: He's angry, aggressive, direct, and pretty funny — using Twitter as a weapon to attack the media and mock people he just doesn't like.
Compare that to, say, Walker, who uses his social media to share pictures of him dancing – or whatever you call that.
And when it comes to Facebook, Trump again leads the GOP by a huge margin with 2.4 million likes and more interactions than every other candidate combined — Republican and Democrat.
In one sense, it's not surprising. Unlike his competition, Trump has been a celebrity for decades and is a salesman by trade. (Video via Chicago Tribune)
On the other hand, the fact that Trump is the most famous Republican in the country must worry a GOP that's trying to broaden its appeal.
The good news for the other candidates is that Facebook likes don't necessarily translate into votes — and that a lot can happen between now and February.
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