Party strategists are betting the right’s embrace of the far-fetched conspiracy theory will be politically toxic and hamper their efforts to win back the House in 2022. Already, Democrats are seeing encouraging signs: Challengers in Republican-held districts are beginning to jump off the sidelines, citing the attack last month as a motivation for running.
“Republicans have done a hell of a thing by motivating really top-tier quality candidates to raise their hand,” said Tim Persico, the DCCC’s executive director. “The events of Jan. 6, and the subsequent coddling of QAnon and the refusal to take any responsibility — I think that that has had a profound impact on people’s interest in running.”
Democratic recruiters said they’ve heard increased interest from potential challengers to Fitzpatrick, Garcia, Bacon and Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) since the attack on the Capitol. A few others have already formally declared their bids, part of what Maloney described as a “game-changer” for recruitment.