The House of Representatives voted to strip Georgia GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments last week as a punishment for Greene sharing multiple conspiracy theories.
One such conspiracy theory, QAnon, alleges a far-reaching “deep state” government conspiracy of Satan-worshippers and pedophiles that sought to undermine President Donald Trump. The decision to remove Greene from the committees increased awareness of her and QAnon. But while the latest Economist/YouGov poll found no improvement in sentiment towards QAnon, Greene’s positive image soared – but only with Republicans.
Greene had made statements indicating support for QAnon and other conspiracy theories, including questioning whether school shootings and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were staged. She walked back several of those statements last week, acknowledging that 9/11 “absolutely happened” and that school shootings were “absolutely real.”
Democrats (76%) and Independents (by 47% vs 32%) tend to approve of removing Greene’s committee assignments, but few Republicans do so (17%). In fact, three times as many Republicans approve (56%) as disapprove of the House action.
Two weeks ago, just 15% of Americans claimed to have heard “a lot” about QAnon. This week, that percentage has nearly doubled. Three in 10 Americans (29%) now say they have heard “a lot” about the conspiracy theory, and two in five (43%) have heard a little about it. Three in 10 (29%) remain unfamiliar with QAnon. Democrats (39%) are twice as likely as Republicans (18%) to say they have heard “a lot” about the conspiracy theory, but most Republicans (55%) say they have heard “a little” about it.
Americans continue to view QAnon negatively. In fact, there has been almost no change in perceptions of QAnon from two weeks ago. QAnon’s overall favorable (13%) and unfavorable (71%) assessments were the same then as they are today.
But Representative Greene’s ratings did change.
Among Republicans, favorable ratings of Greene have jumped 15 points from 25% to 40%, while unfavorable ratings moved hardly at all (21% to 25%). Awareness of Green has increased among Independents, with increases in both favorable ratings (from 16% to 23%) and unfavorable ratings (from 39% to 48%).
Greene’s infamy among Democrats has remained about the same, at 65% compared to 61% a week prior.
Most Americans (76%) claim they know no one who is an adherent of QAnon. Just 2% claim any personal support of the movement, though 7% of Republicans do, compared with just 1% of Democrats and Independents.
For most of those who do have contact with someone who identifies with QAnon, few think supporters believe all of the tenets of the conspiracy theory. Most say those they know believe only some of it, doubt much of it, or simply support the movement itself, not the beliefs.
QAnon so far has made less of an impact than the Tea Party movement of the 2010s. Nearly half the public knows someone who is a supporter of the Tea Party, and nearly one in four Republicans (23%) describe themselves that way.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between February 6 - 9, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.0% for the overall sample.