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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Widening Gyre

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

Paul Kane and  Colby Itkowitz at WP:
Republican leaders stood by the upset winner of the GOP primary in a competitive House seat despite the gun rights activist’s openness to the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, overseen by top GOP leaders, embraced Lauren Boebert as their nominee Wednesday following her defeat of five-term Rep. Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo.), whom she characterized during the campaign as insufficiently supportive of President Trump.

“Lauren won her primary fair and square and has our support. This is a Republican seat and will remain a Republican seat as Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats continue to peddle their radical conspiracy theories and pushing their radical cancel culture,” Rep. Tom Emmer (Minn.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

Boebert is the ninth individual to win the Republican nomination for a seat in the House or Senate who is either a full supporter of the QAnon movement or has voiced support for some of its tenets, none of which have a foundation in truth. Conspiracy theory experts consider it a webbed network filled with activists who wrongly believe a secret group of elites inside of and outside of government is working against Trump, as well as other false allegations of pedophilia among top Democratic officials.
Media Matters lists the QAnon candidates. 

Philip Bump at WP:
The thing that’s remarkable about these Q-adjacent candidates (nearly all of whom are Republican) is that many of them have gone on to win. A Post review of the outcomes of the races in which those 59 candidates have actually been on the ballot and received votes show that 11 of 28 candidates either won their primaries, advanced to a runoff or will be on the ballot in November.

In total, candidates who’ve shown support for QAnon have received more than 580,000 votes, as of this writing, including more than 425,000 votes that have gone to Republicans who were more actively engaged in the Q movement than simply using a Q hashtag on a tweet. This isn’t a sign that those voters were all demonstrating support for Q. It is a sign, though, that Q was not seen disqualifying for Republican primary voters.

Most of those successful candidates won’t end up in Washington next January. A number won primary contests against incumbent Democrats in heavily blue districts. It seems likely at the moment, though, that at least two — Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won the party primary in Georgia’s 14th District — will be elected.

The sudden emergence of a possible Q caucus, if you will, itself mirrors Trump’s ascent. QAnon and the president took similar paths to political power.

You’re probably more familiar with Trump’s. Written off in 2015 as a lark, Trump perhaps accidentally stumbled on a successful path to the Republican nomination: say the things that the party elites didn’t want said but which were burbling in conservative media and social media.