A recent congressional primary runoff in Georgia appeared to highlight the pull of QAnon beliefs among Republican voters. The winner was perhaps the most unabashed pro-QAnon candidate in the country, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who in 2017 called the conspiracy theory “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”
Her competitor, a neurosurgeon, was just as conservative and pro-Trump as Ms. Greene yet did not share her belief in QAnon, mocking it as an “embarrassment.” He was trounced, losing by nearly 16 points and clearing a path to Congress for Ms. Greene, who is a near lock to win a House seat representing the deeply conservative district.
Few other QAnon candidates are likely to win seats in Congress. But at least two managed to defeat non-QAnon-believing Republicans in competitive primaries: Lauren Boebert, a House candidate in Colorado who made approving comments about QAnon, defeated a five-term Republican incumbent in a primary in June, though she is likely to lose in the general election. Jo Rae Perkins, a long-shot Republican Senate candidate in Oregon, declared in May, “I stand with Q and the team.” The next month, she posted a video in which she took what has become known as an oath for QAnon digital soldiers.
But far more than any congressional candidate, it is Mr. Trump and his campaign surrogates who are normalizing QAnon inside the Republican Party.
Language, images and ideas drawn from QAnon are now a regular feature of messages from the campaign. No voter, it seems, is too extreme to be ignored, as Eric Trump, the president’s son, demonstrated in June ahead of a rally in Tulsa, Okla.
On Instagram, he posted and then later deleted an image that featured an American flag emblazoned with black text that read, “Who’s ready for the Trump Rally tonight.” Behind the words, fainter but clearly visible, was a large letter “Q.”
And just in case the message was not clear enough, running along the bottom of the flag was a popular QAnon hashtag, #WWG1WGA, which stands for “Where We Go One, We Go All.” The post was later deleted.
Ben Decker and Katie Rogers contributed reporting.