After President Donald Trump said during his town hall last week that he had never heard of QAnon, a new Yahoo News/YouGov Poll shows just how deep the conspiracy theory has penetrated the consciousness of the voting public.
Free of any evidence, the QAnon is a theory that alleges that a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, including Democratic politicians, run a global child sex-trafficking ring and is plotting against the president.
Overall, a little more than half (55%) of registered voters have heard of QAnon, though supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden (69%) are more likely than President Trump supporters (48%) to have heard of the conspiracy theory.
Among those who have heard of QAnon, about three in five (59%) voters think it’s an extremist conspiracy theory with no basis in fact. One in nine (11%) say they think the QAnon goes too far, but they believe some of what they’ve heard, and just 7% think it’s true, outright.
Looking along political fault lines, unsurprisingly, most (85%) Biden supporters who have heard of QAnon think it’s a conspiracy theory with no factual basis, with another 4% saying it goes too far but believe some aspects of it, and 3% think it’s entirely true.
On the other side of the political spectrum, nearly half (47%) of Trump supporters who have heard of the conspiracy theory just aren’t sure what to make of it. A little more than one in six (15%) Trump voters think QAnon is true, while about the same number (16%) think it’s an extremist theory with no basis in fact. One in five (22%) think it goes too far, but believe some aspects of the conspiracy.
However, when the specific allegations of QAnon were put to voters, fully half (50%) of Trump supporters said they think Democrats are involved in elite child sex-trafficking rings, while another third (33%) aren’t sure. Only about one in six (17%) Trump voters say they don’t believe in such a theory.
The vast majority (82%) of Biden’s supporters don’t believe the conspiracy, although 5% say they do and 13% say they’re not sure.
Among Trump’s supporters, roughly the same results appear when respondents were asked if they think Trump is working to dismantle said sex-trafficking ring: 52% think he is, 12% don’t think so and 37% are not sure. Again, a wide swath of Biden’s voters (80%) don’t believe it.
When President Trump was asked during his NBC town hall if he would completely disavow QAnon and reject its claims that Democrats run a satanic pedophile ring and that he is the savior, he responded, “I know nothing about QAnon” and went on to say that he knows that “they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that.”
Three-quarters (74%) of his supporters said his response was appropriate, while only 5% thought it was inappropriate. About one in five (21%) said they’re not sure. We see opposite responses among Biden supporters: 71% thought the response was inappropriate, 5% thought it was appropriate and 24% said they they’re not sure.
Before posing questions regarding QAnon, the Yahoo/YouGov poll asked respondents about child sex trafficking as a general issue. Roughly three in 10 (31%) registered voters have seen posts of received emails from friends or family about child sex trafficking, with Trump voters more likely than Biden supporters to say so, by 38% to 24%.
A little less than half (45%) of voters think child sex trafficking is a big problem in the U.S., and another 28% think it’s somewhat of a problem. Just 8% think it’s either a small problem (7%) or not a problem at all (1%).
When it comes to child sex trafficking, the majority of both Trump supporters (83%) and Biden supporters (64%) think child sex trafficking is a problem, however Trump supporters are more likely than Biden supporters to see it as a “big” problem, by 53% to 37%.
Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,583 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between October 16 – 18, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. The margin of error for the sample was 4%.