While the Republican candidates shouted over each other on stage Wednesday night at the third presidential debate, the Democrats were quietly texting, tweeting and meeting. Front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent periodic text message responses to fans throughout the evening from New Hampshire, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders,held a town hall with students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

The GOP candidates took frequent shots at their Democratic counterparts, and Clinton delivered snark of her own on Twitter. She complained that they hadn't addressed equal pay for women enough and wrote that "Republicans' ideas are trickle-down economics in disguise." And at the end, she posted a GIF.

Sanders spent the night at his question-and-answer session talking about proposals to decriminalize marijuana and raise the minimum wage. The event was live-streamed, and afterward his account retweeted messages describing the highlights. Sanders stayed on message in his sole original tweet of the night.

Meanwhile, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley posted occasionally on social media during the debate.

The third GOP debate was sponsored by CNBC and held Wednesday at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. CNBC said it developed its lineup based on "methodically sound and recognized national polls" and divided the candidates into two groups, as has become standard for Republican presidential debates. Participants in the main debate, which started at 8 p.m. EDT, included tycoon Donald Trump, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The "happy hour" debate, which started at 6 p.m. EDT, featured former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Going into Wednesday night, Trump was leading with the backing of 32.5 percent of likely Republican primary voters, according to the HuffPost Pollster, which combines survey data. Carson was in second place with 21.8 percent support, followed by Rubio and Bush.

The next GOP debate is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There will be a Democratic debate four days later in Des Moines.