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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, August 14, 2020

QAnon and the GOP

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

Amber Philips at WP:
\Experts who study the QAnon conspiracy theory say one of its supporters was bound to make it to the halls of power eventually.

It looks like that supporter will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won her runoff in a Georgia congressional primary race Tuesday night and will now have a pretty clear path to winning the general election in November and coming to Congress.

But what’s less expected is to see Republican leaders be mostly quiet about QAnon, a webbed network of baseless theories. At its most basic, it alleges that there is a secret group of elites working to get President Trump out of office and that Trump will help reveal those pedophilia and Satan-worshiping elites before they can destroy the country.

Not only does Greene support “Q,” as its adherents calls its mysterious leader, but she also has made racist comments in the past. Some Republican leaders have tsked-tsked her for such comments. But The Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker and Rachael Bade report that “on her words promoting QAnon, meanwhile, her potential future colleagues have been mostly mum.”


Greene beat Dr. John Cowan in the GOP runoff  57-43 percent. Declan Garvey at The Dispatch
The Cowan campaign source estimated around a quarter of the 76,000 voters that turned out for the runoff in northwestern Georgia were QAnon-adjacent, and insinuated Republican leadership is afraid of alienating this growing base of support. “Everybody is scared of this QAnon developing … wing within the party,” the source said. And it goes a lot deeper than Trump.
The first thing listed on Cowan’s website—before being pro life and pro gun—is that he is pro Trump. But it wasn’t enough. “There’s still a section of this party that demands that candidates go a step further. That you not only be pro Trump, but you have to be pro ... frankly, just conspiracy theories,” the source close to Cowan’s campaign said. “The most consistent thing we heard [about why voters were supporting Greene over Cowan] was that, ‘Well, she’s gonna go and she’s gonna fight, she’s gonna fight, she’s gonna fight.’ When you prodded a little bit deeper and asked, ‘Well what does that fight look like?’ They couldn’t tell you, but they just know she’s going to fight."

At WP, Rachel Bade reports on House GOP worries about Kevin McCarthy:
The matter bubbled to the surface this week with the primary election of Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fringe House candidate in Georgia who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory and has made numerous racist comments. Multiple Republicans implored McCarthy to help defeat her by supporting her primary opponent. But McCarthy refused, phoning the candidate in an apparent peace accord before the primary, while Trump embraced her on Twitter this week as a “future Republican Star.”
However, the frustration with McCarthy had already been brewing for weeks as Trump’s polling has sagged behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. According to interviews with more than 10 House Republicans — all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank — some GOP lawmakers are worried that McCarthy has tied the conference too much to Trump, refusing to stand up to the president or act as a buffer to distinguish the conference from him.
Others are also furious that he didn’t shield them from a recent Trump campaign demand that House members donate to the president’s reelection effort.