For the time being, congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have effectively cornered the market of QAnon conspiracy loons in this year's congressional class. But their monopoly on the "we believe there's a secret cabal of satanist, child eating elites running this country" strain of Republicanism may be nearing an end, as a new and expanded crop of QAnon adherents ready themselves for a congressional run in next year's midterm elections.
According to a new analysis from Media Matters for America, there are a whopping 17 new QAnon supporters running for Congress next year — the vast majority of them Republicans from Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Nevada — alongside Greene and Boebert, who will both be up for re-election
Like QAnon itself, with its sprawling mythology and amorphic ability to incorporate any number of contradictory iterations and sub-genres, the roster of would-be QAnon representatives is as varied as you might expect from a group of people inclined to believe in a worldview predicated on baby cannibalization and devil worship. Some, like Arizona GOP candidate Josh Barnett, have attempted to explain away past social media posts that featured QAnon slogans and narratives by claiming he was just "retweeting the article."
Others, like fellow Arizonan Republican candidate Daniel Wood, have been more upfront with their support for QAnon. On Facebook, Wood explained that he "does follow QAnon at times" and, although he's "cautious about the movement," he believes it has "millions of followers who really want our country to succeed."
Florida GOP Senate candidate Reba Sherrill is even more upfront about her not-so-anonymous Q subscription, telling a supporter at a 2020 QAnon rally, "I've been following Q since the beginning." As Media Matters notes, her campaign website is also littered with references to some of the more extreme aspects of the QAnon mythology, regarding the harvesting of certain parts of children's brains and "child sacrifice."
That 18 Republicans and one independent are running for a variety of offices in 2022 — from Congress to state-level legislature — is shocking. But it's not entirely a surprise. Since entering the broader national zeitgeist during the Trump administration, QAnon adherence has grown to the point where a full 15% of the country and 23% of Republicans believe in the cultish movement's core tenets.
Whether that's enough of a base of support to actually expand QAnon's legislative power remains to be seen. What's clear from the sheer number of adherents running, however, is that win or lose, QAnon isn't going anywhere for a long, long time.