Republican Voters Take a Radical Conspiracy Theory Mainstream

Republican Voters Take a Radical Conspiracy Theory Mainstream

The messages have been taken up by people like Bob Cox, 62, a retired construction worker who lives in Aragon, a small town about an hour outside Atlanta. He had little doubt that the political elite was rife with pedophiles, and he knew how he would handle them.

“If people like that come in my neighborhood, I will shoot them,” he said. “I will absolutely do it.”

But he was banking on Mr. Trump to take care of the problem first.

“All this stuff is getting started through Soros,” Mr. Cox added. “He needs to be considered an enemy of the state, and Trump is on top of that. He knows.”

They began streaming into the Republican Party office in Dalton — the self-described “Carpet Capital of the World,” a city of nearly 34,000 about 1.5 hours from Atlanta — around dusk on a warm September day, husbands and wives, small groups of friends, young Republicans aspiring to careers in politics. They had come to see Marjorie Taylor Greene.

She is one of the more than dozen Republicans running for Congress who have signaled some degree of support for QAnon. Most are almost certain to be defeated in November, like Jo Rae Perkins, the long-shot Senate candidate in Oregon who posted a video in May declaring, “I stand with Q and the team,” and followed up in June with another video of herself taking the QAnon digital soldier oath. Others have a chance to win, including Lauren Boebert, who defeated a five-term Republican incumbent in a sprawling district in Colorado.

But it is Ms. Greene, alone among QAnon candidates, who is considered a near lock to win a seat in Congress, and her campaign has turned Georgia’s 14th Congressional District into a ground zero of sorts for the transformation of QAnon into a political movement. She is, after all, the candidate who called QAnon “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”

That might be a hindrance elsewhere, but not here. “In this district, it can have benefits,” said Mr. Kyer, the local party vice chairman.

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