WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s unvarnished social media presence has helped him dominate political coverage the past few months, a GOP strategist said Wednesday.

Trump — who polls show leading in New Hampshire and a close second in Iowa — has repeatedly generated controversy on Twitter that has generated a disproportionate amount of media coverage, said Mindy Finn, a Republican strategist who focuses on digital strategy.

“What he’s understood is that you go to Twitter, erupt a controversy, then all the media will cover you,” she said. “You dominate the news cycle for 24 hours, and you get to speak about much more than just that one controversial comment.”

Trump’s comments on Twitter allow him to control more airtime than other candidates, she said.

Finn, who has worked for both Twitter and prominent Republicans such as former President George W. Bush and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said the platform “demands authenticity, as well as humor and controversy.

“It’s been uncomfortable for many in the electoral process,” she said. “It’s quite frightening when you’re a campaign [because] it’s about control. It’s about controlling the message and controlling the brand.”

Joe Rospars, a digital strategist who oversaw Obama for America’s digital operations in 2008 and 2012, said Trump is not completely authentic on Twitter despite his reputation for “telling it like it is.”

“Trump’s stuff is very calculated; it’s just a different math,” he said. “Part of the reason it’s working so well is that the political math is broken.”

Trump’s tweets are often blunt critiques of whoever he sets his sights on: President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the media or, most recently, his fellow Republicans.

But he also uses Twitter like other politicians, bragging about huge rallies or growing support.

Above all, Finn said Trump has been able to create a sense that his tweets are “authentic,” something that plays well on the platform.

If authenticity plays well on Twitter, posturing does not. On New Year’s Day, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and current GOP candidate Carly Fiorina drew criticism for tweeting that she hoped the Iowa Hawkeyes would win the Rose Bowl and defeat Stanford — her alma mater.

Iowa, of course, hosts its all-important caucus on Feb. 1. At last check, Fiorina’s polling around 3 percent among likely caucus-goers.

Pundits panned Fiorina for pandering to Iowans.

Fiorina later defended the tweet, telling CNN it was “tongue-in-cheek.”

Finn also said Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist from Vermont who’s running for the Democratic nomination, has used Twitter to build his brand.

“He’s seen as this authentic, cool, down-to-earth guy,” she said. “That aspect of his brand is something that’s really appealing, particularly to young voters, who see politics as a lot of BS.”

She contrasted Sanders with Clinton, who has struggled for years to seem like someone with whom voters can relate , Finn said.

But a flashy, dynamic Twitter presence doesn’t necessarily lead to votes, Finn said, and it’s unclear that Trump has the organization on the ground — particularly in Iowa — needed to win a nomination.

“There are going to be consequences for how future campaigns play out based on who wins these primaries,” Rospars. “It’s going to be very interesting.”