QAnon has only grown stronger since the Trump era: study
Many Democrats, progressives, liberals, centrists and Never Trump conservatives were hoping that the QAnon conspiracy cult would go away when Donald Trump left the White House on January 20, 2021. But according to surveys conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, QAnon’s influence has only grown stronger during Joe Biden’s presidency.
Journalist David Smith, in an article published by The Guardian on February 24, explains, “The QAnon conspiracy myth movement continues to thrive in the U.S. and has even strengthened more than a year after Donald Trump left the White House, according to the largest ever study of its followers. Some 22% of Americans believe that a ‘storm’ is coming, 18% think violence might be necessary to save the country, and 16% hold that the government, media and financial worlds are controlled by Satan-worshipping pedophiles, according to four surveys carried out last year by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) think tank.”
Members of QAnon, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, were among the extremists who attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 along with members of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and other far-right pro-Trump groups. QAnon believes that the United States’ federal government has been hijacked by an international cabal of Satanists, pedophiles, child sex traffickers and cannibals and that Trump was elected in 2016 to fight the cabal.
When “the storm” occurs, according to QAnon, the cabal will be violently removed from the federal government. But as ludicrous as all that is, QAnon is showing no signs of going away.
PRRI reports, “The share of QAnon believers has increased slightly through 2021. In March, 14% of Americans were QAnon believers, compared to 16% in July, 17% in September and 17% in October. The share of QAnon doubters has remained relatively steady — 46% in March, 49% in July, 48% in September, and 49% in October — while the share of QAnon rejecters has decreased slightly from 40% in March to 35% in July, 35% in September, and 34% in October.”
PRRI’s research indicates that QAnon demographics, for the most part, are consistent with MAGA demographics.
“Among the discernible patterns,” Smith notes, “about one in five QAnon believers identify as White evangelical Protestants, and QAnon believers are significantly less likely than all Americans to have college degrees. Media consumption is the strongest independent predictor of being a QAnon believer. Americans who most trust right-wing news outlets such as the One America News Network and Newsmax are nearly five times more likely than those who most trust mainstream news to be QAnon believers. Those who most trust Fox News are about twice as likely as those who trust mainstream news to be QAnon believers.”
Smith continues, “They generally have positive views of the Republican Party and negative views of Democrats, with 68% agreeing in the October survey that ‘the Democratic Party has been taken over by socialists.’ Some 26% of QAnon believers have a favorable view of Biden, while 69% have unfavorable views of him.”
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