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GOP candidates Tweet from the sidelines for #DemDebate

As the three 2016 Democratic presidential candidates took the stage in Iowa, their GOP counterparts fired up their Twitter operation.

As Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley went head to head in Des Moines, Iowa for their second debate, some of their GOP counterparts took to social media to offer their critiques early and often.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the most vocal on Twitter early in the evening, lobbing retorts to the candidates' responses on terrorismhealth care, and raising minimum wage.

According to a post-debate report from Twitter, Clinton accounted for 45%  of the conversation on the social media platform about the debate, Sanders ranked second with 41%, and O'Malley came in third at 16%. But Hillary Clinton was the clear common target for many of the tweeting GOP candidates.

It wasn't until the second hour of the debate that frequent tweeter Donald Trump, weighed in on the candidates' performances, taking aim at O'Malley, who called Trump an "immigrant-bashing carnival barker."

Trump was slow to engage with the debate, choosing at first to focus on his own status in the the race. His first tweet during the program, shared a polling graphic showing the numbers in his favor. 

The latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump slipping behind Ben Carson for the top spot among GOP primary voters.