One-Quarter of White Evangelicals Believe QAnon 'Storm' Is Coming to 'Restore Rightful Leaders'

Just over one-quarter of white evangelical Christians in America buy into a key claim from the evidence-free QAnon conspiracy theory, according to a new poll.

The poll, released Thursday by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that 26 percent of white evangelical Protestants agreed that there would be "a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders."

The QAnon conspiracy claims that former President Donald Trump is fighting a secret war against a "deep state" of elites and Satanic Democrats involved in a child sex trafficking ring. "The storm" refers to the moment that believers say Trump will orchestrate the arrest of thousands of people purportedly involved in the evil plot.

Despite the so-called "storm" being repeatedly predicted by the conspiracy theory's alleged anonymous government informant Q during the Trump presidency and never coming to fruition, many adherents have continued to believe that the event is imminent.

Among all religious people, white evangelical Protestants were the most likely to wholly accept QAnon, with the poll finding that 22 percent of the group fully believe the conspiracy, while 58 percent are "doubters" and only 21 percent reject it.

However, Hispanic Protestants and Hispanic Catholics were the most likely to believe in "the storm" specifically, at 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively. The least likely Christians were white Catholics, at 19 percent, and white mainline Protestants at 18 percent. Non-Christian religious people were far less likely to agree, with only 6 percent of Jewish Americans believing the claim.

QAnon Poll White Evangelical Christian Protestants Trump
A recent poll found that a significant portion of American Christians believe in the central tenets of the false QAnon conspiracy theory. This photo shows an unidentified supporter of the theory holding up a "Q" sign at a rally for former President Donald Trump in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on August 2, 2018. Rick Loomis/Getty

The poll also found Christians had similar levels of belief in QAnon's claim that "the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation." Hispanic Protestants agreed with the false statement 26 percent of the time, followed by white evangelical Protestants at 25 percent and other Protestants of color at 24 percent.

At 24 percent each, white evangelical Protestants and Mormons were by far the most likely religious groups that agreed with the statement that "because things have gotten so off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country." Hispanic Protestants were the least likely Christians to agree with the statement, at 12 percent.

Republicans were the political group most likely to profess their belief in the QAnon theory. The poll found that 23 percent of Republicans fully accept the conspiracy, while only 21 percent reject it. Another 28 percent of Republicans said that they believe in both "the storm" and that they may have to resort to violence to "save our country."

Out of every group included in the survey, those who most trusted far-right news outlets like Newsmax and One America News Network were the most likely to believe in QAnon. Almost half, 48 percent, believed in "the storm," with at least 40 percent also believing in both of the conspiracy's other core tenets.

The poll was conducted nationally among 5,149 adults online between March 8 and March 30. It has a margin of error of 1.5 percent.