GOP Debate: The Twitter Conversation

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On Thursday night, 10 Republican presidential candidates will go head-to-head in the first GOP debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle, at 9pm ET in Cleveland, Ohio.

Twitter has already played a big role in the election cycle thus far, with candidates on both sides of the aisle actively using social media to show off their interests and personality, as well as promote their policy positions. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has used has used Twitter to criticize her opponents like Jeb Bush and hosted a Facebook Q&A to answer questions from voters. Mean while, candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the GOP side have been prolific on Twitter, pushing their policy positions, attacking their opponents, and rallying their base to the cause.

So on debate night, social media -- and especially Twitter -- will play a major role in the debate. As candidates debate on stage, their staffs will fire off missives from their Twitter accounts to rally support.

So who IS winning the race on Twitter? Follow along here for the latest buzz on the candidates and the debate! Below, we'll showcase real-time data from Twitter throughout debate night that shows how much buzz each of the 10 prime-time debate candidates are being talked about on Twitter, where the conversations on Twitter are happening, and what the candidates themselves (or their staff) are tweeting during the debate.