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Study finds nearly one-in-five Americans believe QAnon conspiracy theories

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Trump Supporters Hold \"Stop The Steal\" Rally In DC Amid Ratification Of Presidential Election
acob Chansley, a.k.a. the QAnon Shaman, speaks on January 06, 2021 in WashingtonRobert Nickelsberg / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Washington, we have a problem — politically, informationally and societally — when 15 percent of Americans agree with the QAnon statement that the U.S. government, media and financial worlds “are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”

Or when 20 percent agree with this statement: “There is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders.”

Or when another 15 percent agree that “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”

These are the results of a PRRI-IFYC study that was conducted online March 8-30, but that was just released Thursday.

And the study finds that Republicans, those who trust far-right news outlets like OANN and Newsmax, and white evangelicals and Hispanic Protestants are all more likely to believe these statements than other Americans.

It’s hard to call something fringe when approximately one-in-five Americans believe these statements, especially one that true patriots “may have to resort to violence” to save the country.

The filibuster cometh?

And that brings us to what happened on Jan. 6, as well as the political fight over a bipartisan commission to study it.

NBC’s Frank Thorp and NBC’s Capitol Hill team report that the Senate procedural motion on the Jan. 6 commission — which requires 60 votes to advance — could take place today, or tomorrow, or after Memorial Day.

It all depends on their earlier work on a China competitiveness bill. If that China-related bill gets 60 votes, it will trigger hours (and days) of debate. But if it doesn’t get 60 votes, the Senate will begin considering the Jan. 6 commission.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

9: The number of victims shot and killed in yesterday’s San Jose rail yard shooting. (The gunman is also dead.)

At least 287: The number of Afghan pro-government personnel who have been killed this month in Afghanistan, per the New York Times.

At least 204: The number of civilians killed this month in Afghanistan.

33,356,780: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 23,856 more than yesterday morning.)

595,730: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 624 more than yesterday morning.)

289,212,304: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

36.6 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per NBC News.

50.3 percent: The share of all American adults over 18 who are fully vaccinated, per CDC.

Cleveland Rocks

At 2:20 p.m. ET, President Biden delivers a speech on the economy at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ryan’s return

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is set to deliver an address at the Reagan Presidential Library — a longstanding and venerated venue for GOP officials, presidential candidates and luminaries — where he’ll issue a warning about the party’s reliance on former President Trump, NBC’s Kasie Hunt and Haley Talbot report.

Ryan’s remarks, which were first previewed by Punchbowl News, echo Liz Cheney’s approach, though he also offers praise for the former president’s willingness to sign the Republican tax reform proposal.

“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle,” he’ll say, according to released excerpts. “We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us. This was true even when the person leading our movement was as impressive, polished, and agreeable as they come.”

Ryan’s speech is at 9:00 p.m. ET tonight in Simi Valley, Calif.

Happy Memorial Day

This is our final newsletter of the week. We’ll be back bright and early Tuesday morning. Have a great and safe Memorial Day holiday.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Here’s what you need to know about a coming report to Congress on unidentified flying objects.

Biden wants U.S. intelligence agencies to “redouble” efforts to determine the origins in Covid-19.

Biden’s pick to lead the ATF is pushing back against a misinformation campaign that falsely claims that he participated in the 1993 raid on a cult compound in Waco.

Top Democrats want to keep the heat on for a push towards a public health care option.

The U.S. is quietly returning to Libya.

POLITICO has a deep dive on George P. Bush — and the family’s relationship with Trump.

Biden’s instinct is always to negotiate. The New York Times writes that, on voting rights, the timing may be all wrong.