Last night, President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address to the nation. Rational 360 analyzed 3.4 million online posts and news articles around the speech, examining the topics that resonated online, with a focus on five key issue areas which made up 15 percent of posts: health care, immigration, tech and privacy, foreign affairs, and the economy. The insights below highlight some key takeaways: 

  • People in early-primary states responded more positively to the State of the Union than people across the country. Positive sentiment in early 2020 primary states was three percentage points higher than the national baseline at 21 percent. 
  • Women 35 and above were more likely to post about the State of the Union and their posts were more positive than the national baseline. 53 percent of users were women and 85 percent of users were over age 35. Posts by women were 28 percent positive, 10 percentage points more than the baseline positive sentiment.
  • The four early primary states, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada made up 1.4 percent of all SOTU posts, less than their combined 3.8 percent of the U.S. population. Users in South Carolina posted the most with over 15,000 posts. 
  • Online conversation mirrored the major moments of the speech – when legislators reacted to President Trump’s remarks on women and the length of time spent on immigration. Immigration made up 50 percent of key policy issues important to Americans posting about the State of the Union. The two words used most by online posters referring to State of the Union were "Women" and "Border" reflecting those two major moments in the speech.
  • State of the Union mentions and online conversation around tech topics, including privacy, cyber-security, net neutrality and broadband were virtually non-existent. Fewer than 1 percent of posts discussed tech.
  • The top shared articles about the State of the Union were from national outlets and smaller conservative outlets. This reflects a larger trend toward outsized online influence for smaller, conservative online publications like The Gateway Pundit which had over 4,000 shares.

Rational 360 defined red states and blue states by the results of the 2016 Presidential election.