The Candidates' Technology Game: How the Front-Runners Stack Up

PHOTO: Bernie Sanders holds up a phone while talking about citizens recording police abuses at a rally in Hollywood, Calif., Oct. 14, 2015.PlayLucy Nicholson/Reuters
WATCH Candidates Make Last Push Before Iowa Caucuses

If a presidential election was determined by a candidate's Twitter following, we'd have a President Donald Trump.

We of course don't live in a Twitter democracy, so all eyes today will be on the Iowa caucuses, marking the first of the ballots cast for Republic and GOP candidates on the road to win their party's nomination. While voters have gotten to know the candidates through town halls and debates, social media has also played a huge role in fostering conversation between candidates and voters.

Here's a look at how the candidates' technology use and ideas stack up against each other.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is famous for his mastery of Twitter. At 5.95 million followers, he's the candidate with the biggest following on Twitter, where he regularly re-tweets supporters, promotes himself, and on occasion, gets into a Twitter feud.

Those Tweets reportedly are typed by the man himself. According to a Wall Street Journal profile, Trump doesn't use a computer but he relies on his smartphone to send his thoughts to the world in 140 characters or less.

For all of his social media star power, Trump has made some people scratch their heads over a comment he made in a December debate about shutting down the Internet to combat ISIS. Trump said he was open to "closing" down parts of the Internet in order to combat the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS. Trump's idea hasn't included any technical specifics other than calling on "our most brilliant minds" to help get the job done.

PHOTO: A screen grab made from the Donald Trump Facebook page on Feb. 1, 2016 shows a video featuring Ivanka Trump explaining how to caucus for her father.Facebook
A screen grab made from the Donald Trump Facebook page on Feb. 1, 2016 shows a video featuring Ivanka Trump explaining how to caucus for her father.

Ted Cruz

Someone beat Ted Cruz to buying TedCruz.com, so the senator instead is saddled with TedCruz.org. The Texan, who has the potential to pull off an upset victory in Iowa, has yet to crack the 1 million follower mark on Twitter but he does have the nifty #CaucusForCruz hashtag going for him today.

Marco Rubio

The senator from Florida has a respectable 1.1 million Twitter followers. He's previously spoken about protecting Internet and app-based companies like Uber and Airbnb from government regulators.

"The American economy is fundamentally transforming. Uber didn’t even exist when our current president was sworn in. Today it’s worth $51 billion," Rubio said during a speech last year. "The American people have chosen an economy in which the most valuable retailer in America, Amazon, owns not a single store. The largest transportation company, Uber, owns not a single vehicle."

His stance has paid off -- Rubio is the Republican who has received the most donations from Silicon Valley.

PHOTO: A mobile phone shows a Facebook page promoting Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, photographed on April 13, 2015.Mike Segar/Reuters
A mobile phone shows a Facebook page promoting Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, photographed on April 13, 2015.

Hillary Clinton

Everyone knows by now Clinton used a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. A BlackBerry is the former first lady's smartphone of choice, judging by previous photos, including one famous one of her texting that spawned the "Texts From Hillary" meme.

With 5.26 million Twitter followers, she's also the only candidate with a following to rival Trump on the social network.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders flies coach like most of the electorate -- and like many of us, even has a fingerprint smudged iPhone, as seen in a photo taken from a rally last October. The senator from Vermont's campaign gained staggering momentum thanks to his team's mastery of social media. His 1.27 million Twitter followers certainly #FeelTheBern.