This October will mark the three-year anniversary of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy that has spread at an alarming and somewhat surprising rate (its core belief involves President Trump pretending to collude with Russia in order to spark an investigation into a pedophilic Democratic establishment, thereby preventing a deep-state coup). While one Pew poll in late March showed that around three-quarters of Americans knew nothing about the conspiracy, the frequent appearance of Q-apparel and signs at the president’s rallies — as well as his broadcasting of QAnon ideas on Twitter — suggests it may remain a fringe force in politics as we stumble through the Trump era.
Perhaps the greatest indicator that Qanon — a pliable conspiracy, designed to account for old mistakes and rapidly absorb new information — isn’t going anywhere is the new class of Q-supporting candidates running for Congress in 2020. While Q-advocates throughout the country are running longshot campaigns for federal legislative seats, the conspiracy saw a leap forward on Wednesday when Oregonian candidate Jo Rae Perkins became the first-ever Q-supporter to win a Senate primary.
Perkins, an insurance agent, beat three other candidates in the primary, with around 49 percent of the vote. “Where we go one, we go all,” she said in her victory speech, quoting the group’s slogan. “I stand with President Trump, I stand with Q and the team. Thank you, Anons, and thank you, patriots. Together, we can save our republic.” According to the Daily Beast, in a recent YouTube show promoting QAnon, Perkins also called COVID-19 a “fake virus.”
Though she is unlikely to defeat the incumbent senator, Democrat Jeff Merkley, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee did not exclude the possibility of supporting a candidate that posits that the opposition party is run by a satanic sex cult. Speaking with the Washington Post, Senator Todd Young of Indiana, chairman of the NRSC, said that he would “have to learn more about” Perkins’s beliefs, but that “the NRSC tends to support Republican candidates, as you know.”