Five Years of Party Rhetoric on Saudi Arabia

October 20, 2018

The tragic killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi has sent a wave of reactions through Congress. With political decisions looming regarding future relationships with Saudi Arabia, we took a look back at the partisan dialogue related to the country over the past five years.

Party dialogue on Saudi Arabia has dramatically shifted since the 2016 Presidential Election.

Prior to the election of Donald Trump, Republicans were far more vocal on US-Saudi relations, averaging roughly 600 mentions per month. Since November 2016, Democrats have outpaced Republicans throughout the 115th Congress with roughly 750 mentions per month compared to Republicans 370 mentions per month.

Six of the ten top words used by Republicans and Democrats on Saudi Arabia are the same.

War, Yemen, Iran, military, security, and Trump all make the top ten frequently mentioned words in statements on US-Saudi relations. Democrats mention humanitarian, coalition, and diplomatic more than Republicans. The GOP more frequently mentions terrorist, Obama, ally, and money.

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