Rational Insights: State of the Union 2019

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:


    • Immigration made up half of key policy issues important to Americans posting about the State of the Union. The topic of immigration made up 50 percent of all posts within those issues. Overall, across the entire State of the Union conversation, immigration made up eight percent of posts.


    • “Women” and “Border” were the two words used the most by President Trump in his address and by those who posted about the State of the Union. 


    • Though privacy and tech giants like Facebook were posted about frequently in a policy context in early 2018, tech with a minimal part of the conversation around the State of the Union. President Trump did not mention privacy or tech during the address and the conversation online generated less than 1 percent of posts pertaining to those issues.


    • Political topics were more discussed than policy topics with the two biggest topics being “Stacey Abrams” with 8 percent of posts and “lying” with 5 percent. Combined, Stacey Abrams and lying made up 14 percent of posts, only slightly less than the five key policy areas combined.


    • Online conversation volume in early 2020 primary states was three percentage points higher than the national baseline sentiment. Online sentiment in 2020 early primary states was 21 percent positive while the overall sentiment was 18 percent positive. Sentiment is measured through a machine-learning algorithm trained to identify posts that use positive and negative language.


    • Of the first four 2020 primary states, South Carolina posted the most about the State of the Union, but only slightly more than Iowa. Users in South Carolina posted over 15,000 times during the State of the Union.


    • The top shared articles about the State of the Union were from national outlets and smaller conservative outlets. The top shared outlets were CNN and The Washington Post. Smaller conservatitive outlets included The Gateway Pundit and Breitbart.


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






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