Election 2020

As QAnon Copes With Trump’s Likely Loss, They Wonder Where Q Is

The pseudonymous leader of the conspiracy theory hasn’t posted for days.

A QAnon supporter
Jake A, 33, aka Yellowstone Wolf, wrapped in a QAnon flag, addresses supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump as they protest outside the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix on Nov. 5. Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

As the first projections emerged declaring the U.S. presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden, QAnon is wondering where their Q is.

On far-right and conspiracy channels, the legion of loyalists to President Donald Trump are ginning up any evidence they can find that widespread fraud delivered the election to Biden. Rallies are being planned in the states that are still too close to call. There is an emerging strategy to pressure Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Arizona, and elsewhere to ignore the results of the vote and send Republicans to the Electoral College anyway, in effect demanding that Trump be installed despite the official election results. Other followers are confident that the election results are all part of a plan devised by Q and Trump to smoke out the so-called deep state.

Generally speaking, however, QAnon hasn’t violently mobilized as many feared. Protests outside of state houses and county offices have been, in some cases, unruly but generally small. The only news of an extremist plot appears to have come via a pair of arrests in Philadelphia on weapons charges—researcher J.J. MacNab identified one suspected as an avowed QAnon believer. While promises that the coming weeks could “go hot” may yet be fulfilled, things have been relatively quiet.

QAnon’s unexpected malaise seems to correspond to silence from Q themself. The movement’s pseudonymous leader has not posted since the early-morning hours of Election Day, when they uploaded a picture of a massive American flag, a quote from Abraham Lincoln, and a promise that “together we win.”

Justin Ling is a journalist based in Toronto.