Who Supports QAnon? A Case Study in Political Extremism

Adam M. Enders, Joseph Uscinski, Casey A Klofstad, Stefan Wuchty, Michelle I. Seelig, John Funchion, Manohar Murthi, Kamal Premaratne, Justin Stoler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The QAnon conspiracy theory has garnered increasing attention as more than 80 pro-QAnon congressional candidates vied for nominations in 2020 primary races. The QAnon movement is widely characterized as “far right” and “growing,” but such claims rest on flimsy evidence. Using six public opinion polls from 2018 to 2020, we find that support for QAnon is both meager and stable across time. QAnon also appears to find support among both the political right and left; rather than partisan valence, it is the extremity of political orientations that relates to QAnon support. Finally, we demonstrate that while QAnon supporters are “extreme,” they are not so in the ideological sense. Rather, QAnon support is best explained by conspiratorial worldviews, dark triad personality traits, and a predisposition toward other nonnormative behavior. These findings have implications for the study of conspiracy theories and the spread of misinformation and suggest new directions for research on political extremism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Politics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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