By Amy Tennery and Gina Cherelus
(Reuters) - After what seemed like a very long silence by his standards, Donald Trump returned to Twitter on Tuesday morning, striking an uncharacteristically low-key tone.
"My experience in Iowa was a great one. I started out with all of the experts saying I couldn't do well there and ended up in 2nd place. Nice," tweeted Trump (@realDonaldTrump) on Tuesday.
"Because I was told I could not do well in Iowa, I spent very little there - a fraction of Cruz & Rubio. Came in a strong second. Great honor," he later tweeted.
For months, opinion polls have placed the real estate mogul and former reality TV star as front-runner to be the Republican candidate in November's U.S. presidential election. In his first test at the hands of voters - Monday's Iowa caucuses, which kicked off the parties' nominating process - Trump was beaten into second place by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Marco Rubio came in a close third.
Trump's Twitter account went dark from Monday evening for roughly 15 hours, an unusually long period for the White House hopeful, who averages about 17 tweets per day, according to TwitterCounter.com.
His second-place showing in Iowa inspired a derisive hashtag called #___SupportsDonaldTrump. Twitter users used the hashtag to take shots at Trump, filling in the blank with universally loathed people.
"Your high school teacher that didn't let you use the bathroom when you needed to go badly #___SupportsDonaldTrump," Faran (@Raizand_) tweeted Tuesday.
Trump, who never tires of calling himself a "winner," had his own favorite epithet used against him online. Twitter erupted Tuesday over the news that a website called "loser" directed Internet users to Trump's Wikipedia page.
(Reporting By Amy Tennery; Editing by Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)
SAP is the sponsor of this coverage which is independently produced by the staff of Reuters News Agency.
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