The ad couldn’t sound more ominous. As darkened images of quiet suburban neighborhoods roll on the screen, a woman’s voice delivers a scary message: “On every street, in every neighborhood, around every corner, sex offenders are living among us.”

And then comes the kicker: U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, a freshman Democrat from New Jersey in a swing district, “tried to make it easier for predators to hide in the shadows,” the woman continues. “Malinowski worked as the top lobbyist for a radical group that opposed the National Sex Offender Registry.”…

“That’s a clear bid for QAnon support,” said Kathryn Olmsted, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, who has written a book about antigovernment conspiracy theories. “This is a play for anybody who believes the Democrats are a den of pedophiles and child sex traffickers. It’s completely untethered from reality.”

The attack ad targeting Malinowski is not an isolated case. In districts around the country, the NRCC — the campaign arm of House Republicans — have been hitting similar themes, depicting Democratic candidates as secret supporters of sexual abusers of young children. In one Florida district, the group has hammered Democratic candidate Margaret Goods as a protector of “sex dolls.”