President Barack Obama greets members of Congress as he arrives in the House chamber in the U.S. Capitol to deliver his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, 2015.
Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP

The State of the Union’s buzziest moment: ‘I won both of them’


President Barack Obama delivered his sixth annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and social media was buzzing as regular Americans and politicians alike took to Twitter and Facebook to share their reactions to the president’s speech.

Facebook’s policy team provided msnbc with data on the most talked-about topics and moments during the Obama’s oratory. In total, on January 20, 2015, 5.7 million people on Facebook made 13.8 million interactions (likes, posts, comments, shares) related to the president’s State of the Union address. The most viral moment of the State of the Union address, according to Facebook? That moment when President Obama said “I have no more campaigns to run,” was interrupted by partisan cheers, and shot back: “I know, because I won both of them.

Discussion of the address was not limited to older demographics – young people 18-34 were a key part of the discussions. Here are the most engaged demographics talking about the SOTU address on Facebook:

  • Women 35-49
  • Men 35-49
  • Men 18-34
  • Women 18-34
  • Men 50+

Here are the most engaged states that discussed the SOTU address on Facebook. Interestingly, many of these – North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – are known swing states. 

  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • South Carolina

Here’s a look at the most-talked about issues in relation to the SOTU address on Facebook:

  • Economy and Jobs
  • Community College
  • Taxes
  • Minimum Wage
  • Middle Class

Interestingly, however, the most talked-about issues differed when the Facebook users were broken out by gender. Men’s top topics on Facebook were:

  • Taxes
  • Economy and Jobs
  • Community College
  • Middle Class
  • Minimum Wage

While women’s top issues on Facebook were as follows:

  • Community College
  • Taxes
  • Economy and Jobs
  • Equal Pay
  • Minimum Wage

But the buzz wasn’t all just about the issues – many people on social media were watching the speech with an eye towards 2016. According to social analytics tool Zignal Labs, the most talked-about potential 2016 White House contender during the speech was Rand Paul who dominated 48% of the overall conversation, followed by Elizabeth Warren (17%), and Marco Rubio in third (8%).

On Twitter, conversations about the address were heated as well. According to Twitter’s Government & Elections team, there were over 2.6 million tweets related to the State of the Union address. 

Many other hashtags popped up as well. Prior to the speech, the White House tweeted a picture of a tan suit, in reference to Obama’s infamous outfit from this past August, with the hashtag #YesWeTan, and that tweet inspired over 6,000 mentions of #YesWeTan, according to analytics tool Topsy. (In fact, the tweet was a tease: President Obama ended up wearing a more traditional blue suit while he delivered the speech). The hashtag #GOPresponse, for the Republican response delivered by Joni Ernst after President Obama’s speech, received 9,700 mentions on Twitter. 

Twitter’s Government & Elections team said the most talked-about moments of the night, measured in tweets per minute, were as follows:

  1. “I have no more campaigns to run. I know because I’ve won both of them.” - President Obama
  2. President Obama’s Speech Concludes
  3. President Obama Outlines College Proposals

The most talked-about SOTU topics on Twitter were: 

  1. Community College
  2. Equal Pay
  3. Climate Change
  4. Tax Reform
  5. Healthcare

The hashtag #SOTU was mentioned in over 1.3 million tweets over the course of the evening. Here’s a look at how that conversation unfolded: