Things quickly go South for QAnon leader running for Congress
HBO screenshot via Youtube

It turns out that having nearly 500,000 Telegram QAnon followers isn't helpful in fundraising for congressional campaigns.

Vice News revealed that Q facilitator Ron Watkins, who became a MAGA influencer after spreading conspiracy theories, hasn't raised a cent since announcing his run for Congress in Arizona last month.

"Mark my words: I am going to raise at least a million dollars and I'm going to win so that the people have a real voice in Washington, D.C.," Watkins said at the time.

But that ambition hasn't resulted in any actual cash. The Federal Election Commission's database shows he's got nothing compared to his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tom O'Halleran's $1.15 million.

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While most campaigns would focus on raising money to hire staff, Watkins has focused on attacking his opponent and working to develop Trump-like nicknames for him.

Watkins has three other Republicans in the race, all of whom have outraised him. Arizona State Rep. Walter Blackman has raised $475,481.07, former Navy Seal/businessman Eli Crane raised $404,396.30, and Williams Mayor John Moore raised $30,497.88.

The report explained that Watkins is using his Telegram channel to contact followers instead of a campaign website. It's resulted in a loss of his supporters who may not care about Arizona politics. He's also pushing conspiracy theories like false anti-vaccine claims and the lie about the 2020 election.

"According to the data, Watkins' subscriber base has been steadily declining in recent weeks, suggesting that his sway over his conspiracy-minded followers may be waning," said the report.

While Watkins may have started out with enthusiasm, his campaign could implode after his friend's home was raided by the FBI because a Colorado Republican leaked confidential voter information to him.

Read the full report from Vice.

(An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Watkins' home was raided when it was his friend he was working with.)

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