In state legislative races around the country, there are 14 known candidates who have endorsed or given credence to the QAnon theory or promoted QAnon content, according to a tally by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters. “You have politicians and other elites increasingly willing to endorse and spread these claims even when they have no particular evidence for them,” said Josh Pasek, a University of Michigan communication associate professor who studies new media. “What it does is, it takes the wacky that exists out there in the fringes and legitimates it, and that can be really dangerous,” he said.
Grove’s office said her use of the hashtag was not intended as an endorsement of or an affiliation with QAnon. “As her post shows, Senator Grove voted against legislation that will reduce penalties for sex offenders who have committed certain acts and the post is not contributing to or sharing any information from QAnon,” Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Senate Republican Caucus, said in a statement.
Congress next year may have something like a QAnon caucus composed of Republican candidates who have promoted the conspiracy theory on the campaign trail this year, but in state capitals around the country, including Sacramento, the language of QAnon has already arrived. State Sen.
Grove, who represents the Bakersfield area, didn’t mention QAnon in her tweets, but her use of the hashtag shows how far QAnon language has traveled since it emerged on the fringe of the internet in 2017. State Sen.
Travis View, the host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, which tracks the conspiracy theory, said the #SaveOurChildren hashtag is “used widely by people who are trying to promote QAnon without revealing their QAnon roots.
QAnon support has begun to show up in state politics, including a recent argument over a new California bill that would change who is considered a sex offender.