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SOTU winners and losers, according to social media

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Social media users were busy sharing their opinions during the State of the Union speech, with President Obama’s words about improving the economy getting the most social traction of the night.

Twitter has published its summary of the night, noting the biggest spikes in messages when the president said that he wants to help the middle class build “ladders of opportunity.” The phrase “minimum wage” also made Facebook’s list of trending terms after the speech — though just barely — coming in 10th on the list.

Gun control was another moment of chatter during and after the speech. Twitter noted that there were 23,700 tweets per minute when the president went through his list of gun crime victims who “deserve a vote.”

Microsoft’s Bing was also measuring real-time reaction to the State of the Union, offering some key insights into the most divisive moments of the speech.

According to Bing’s data, the president’s remarks on climate change had Republicans and independent voters nearly “bottoming out,” or registering very negative reactions to the proposals. There was also a clear political split between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of gun control, Bing said, with Republicans largely disapproving of Obama’s remarks while Democrats registered their approval. That was also the moment with the highest level of traffic during the speech, indicating that Bing’s sample felt strongly about that issue.

The speech did get some bipartisan support, Bing reported, with Democrats, Republicans and independent voters cheering remarks on immigration reform, tax reform and Obama’s remarks on infrastructure.

Women also split off from men during the speech, telling pollsters that they supported the Equal Pay Act, the Violence Against Women Act and discussion about raising the minimum wage.

As for the Republican response? While Rep. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) may have stolen the night’s contest for a viral moment with his mid-speech gulp of water, he also was quick to poke fun at himself on social media. Rubio tweeted a photo of the bottle of water with the hashtag #gopresponse, indicating that he knew the sudden swig would be making the rounds Wednesday.

According to a tweet from Rubio’s research director Val Mack, the congressman sent the message over the network himself, relaying the news with the hashtag “#staffisnotthisfunny.”

Related stories: Marco Rubio takes a water break What Google tells us about the State of the Union speech Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

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