As the 2016 Republican candidates for president prepare to take the stage in two debates Thursday night, the focus has been Donald Trump, Donald Trump and Donald Trump.
The billionaire real estate mogul—who headlines the prime-time Fox News debate as the No. 1 polling candidate among the top 10—has harnessed social media in an unprecedented way, according to Zac Moffatt, who was digital director for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.
"I think social media plays a massive role in his ability to get his message out and kind of speak directly to people, which probably won't have happened even 10 years ago," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday. "And it seems to be resonating."
With huge followings on Twitter and Facebook, Trump has been able to speak to millions of potential voters and "bypass traditional media," said Moffatt, who's online ad targeting company Targeted Victory has also served GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio's senate campaign.
"Donald Trump has really figured out how to drive his message through social media without always having to do interviews in person or do live events," he added. "Social media is a really good platform for him."
The nine other candidates in Fox's prime-time debate are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Rubio; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The seven other GOP hopefuls who didn't make the cut for the prime-time event will take part in an early evening Fox debate. The lineup includes former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham; former New York Gov. George Pataki; and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.