top of page

How We Spooked Republicans in 2021

In honor of Halloween this year, we wanted to highlight all of the spooky campaigns & organizations we worked with that would send a chill down the spines of right-wing politicians.

Illustration of orange jack-o-lantern on black background with an image of Mitch McConnell clutching his face in fear
Mitch is terrified.

Here’s a list of 6 things that Republicans are scared of (aka the campaigns & organizations Bluebonnet Fellows supported):

1. Accessible Voter Rights

As we witnessed with various voter suppression & gerrymandering efforts by Republicans

to disenfranchise large populations of the American population, we know that the

So, we worked with Protect Our Election this year.

Protect Our Election is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that focuses on the critical role state and local election administrators play in our democracy. Our priorities include improving voter/civic education at the local level, encouraging citizens to engage with the electoral process, pushing back on the insidious disinformation that threatens to tear our democracy apart, and providing our under-funded local election officials with the support and resources they need. They offer a pro bono social media support service to any local jurisdiction in need of added capabilities; our goal with this service is to empower LEOs to deliver a more proactive voter communications strategy built on the notion of shared truth. An overwhelming majority of election offices lack the time, funds, and expertise to do so - we are working to change that.

2. Acknowledging the reality of climate change

Facts are scary!! Acknowledging that we are currently destroying our environment

in favor of profit may lead to some frightening & embarrassing prospects for one’s

ability to get in good with the oil & gas lobby. No more million dollar checks? So

spooky. Much spookier than your grandchildren not being able to breathe clean air,


So, we volunteered with Climate Cabinet Action.

Climate Cabinet Action helps candidates run, win, and legislate on the climate crisis. They

create climate champions before they even take office, ensuring that a just, job-creating

clean energy transition is a priority in American politics.

3. New Voices in the Political Space

Republicans are frightened of no longer having an unchallenged monopoly on who shapes

policy in our country.

We wanted to help fuel this Republican nightmare by lending a hand in amplifying BIPOC, immigrant, and women’s voices.

Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) builds the power of Latinx and working-class communities of color to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, and transformative education.

Elect Black Women’s mission is to amplify, connect, and encourage more black women to run for office They invest in black women because they do not get the big donors, but can win with increased amplification, connection, and encouragement — think school board, county commission, state executive committee women, judges, tax assessor, sheriff, alderman, and general clerks to name a few. When Elect Black Women says early support, they mean once a woman’s name is printed on the ballot. Elect Black Women knows how much a small investment early becomes the difference-maker when trying to demonstrate viability

Her Term is a Georgia-based initiative created to recruit women to run for public office at the local, state, and national levels.

Without racial justice, there is no justice. Racial Justice Coalition’s mission is to unify the Nebraska and Texas communities around the idea that racial bias in the sentencing and convictions of Nebraskans and Texans is against our convictions. Courts are intended to be avenues of equity and justice. If the law is applied unjustly, our institutions are only serving a portion of the public. RJC is fighting for equal justice in the justice system.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) is a statewide coalition of more than 65 member organizations and over 100 allies, founded in 1998 and formally incorporated in 2004. We are led by our membership, including grassroots and community organizations, farmworkers, youth, advocates, lawyers, union members, and more. They work together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants. With staff in six counties and members throughout Florida, FLIC’s leadership builds depth in local communities, breadth for statewide reach, and national alignment.

4. A Democratic South

A progressive Texas? Bloodcurdling. A Democratic Tennessee? Hair-raising. A liberal

Louisiana? SPINE-CHILLING. Republicans better learn how to swim, because it’s a Blue

Wave baby.

The focus of this group is to build sustainable year-round people-focused organizing in the Harris County/Houston area through training and developing relationships between individual organizers as well as progressive grassroots organizations so we can support each other. We specifically work to register and engage new voters in areas that are traditionally not reached by campaigns or other organizations; apartments and neighborhoods that are packed with Democratic voters who do not vote regularly. When possible we prefer to knock doors and talk to people in person, but we also drop literature, phone bank, text, and write letters and postcards.

Crimson Goes Blue harnesses the talents, passion, and resources of the Harvard alumni community to forge a more just American democracy

Emerge Louisiana inspires women to run, we hone their skills to win.

Change Tennessee is committed to training, recruiting, and providing resources to candidates for office throughout Tennessee.

5. A Well Informed & Civically Empowered Public

anti-democratic behaviors). Fox News is QUAKING.

The Texas Observer is the original reader-supported nonprofit news organization of Texas. We strive to make the state a more equitable place by exposing injustice through investigative journalism, narrative storytelling, and cultural coverage. Rather than chasing breaking news, we dig beyond the headlines and contextualize news events. Our essays, reviews, and criticism seek to create a new cultural canon and challenge existing mythologies.

  • Southern Minnesota Democratic Study Group

The Southern Minnesota Democratic Study Groups supports the development of a relational organizing plan across southern Minnesota focusing on selected townships and new American communities.

Doctors in Politics seeks to identify and support physician-candidates with the fundamental belief that (1) everyone in the United States deserves affordable, high-quality, comprehensive, and equitable health care services, (2) gun violence can be seen primarily through a public health lens and should be studied, diagnosed, and treated as such, (3) systemic, structural, and institutional racism exists across our society, including within our health care and public health systems, (4) public education should be designed to serve the ‘whole child’ by promoting each individual’s cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development, (5) women’s medical decisions should be free from politics and should be a conversation between a woman and her physician, (6) environmental issues are inextricably linked with health issues such that climate change should be viewed not as just a political, economic, or national security crisis; but rather a public health emergency, and (7) misinformation and disinformation, particularly as they spread quickly online, can deeply harm individuals, communities, and democracy.

Lead Locally’s mission is to elect community leaders across the country to state and local offices who pledge to fight back against fossil fuel projects and for a just green economy.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is educators, students, activists, workers, parents, neighbors, and friends who believe in opportunity for all students and in the power of public education to transform lives and create a more just and inclusive society.

Quad Cities Interfaith (QCI) is a coalition of congregations and community groups that have come together to build local leadership and address issues in the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa. QCI is a community of people living out their faith and values to collectively transform our society and bring about justice and human dignity locally and regionally. QCI works to improve the quality of life in our region by developing leaders in congregations and other institutions, so as to introduce our values into public dialogue and speak with a strong, unified voice in the decisions that affect our lives.

6. Big, Bad, Bluebonnet Data

Our Bluebonnet Fellows have been relentless in their efforts to support progressive

campaigns and organizations across the nation. This year, we’ve had active teams in

18+ states and 8 teams working with nationwide organizations, bringing Bluebonnet

Data’s presence & progressivism to 25 states overall. The Republicans may not know it yet,

but we are what goes bump in the night.

Here’s our activity by the numbers for 2021:

  • 10 nonprofit organizations

  • 3 state/county parties

  • 6 municipal campaigns

  • 12 state legislative campaigns

  • 4 statewide campaigns

  • 6 federal campaigns

  • 9 partner organizations (unions, legislative causes)

We’ve done a lot this year and are not losing any steam. This isn’t even our final form.

Thanks for reading our list of how we’re building our own treehouse of horror for Republicans.

If you’re interested in spooking right-wing extremists, consider applying to our January Fellowship Cohort. The application period is from November 3rd, (11/3/21) to January 3rd (01/03/22).


About the Authors

Christina is the Communications Director at Bluebonnet Data. She is a talented pumpkin carver and aspires to be a design-justice practitioner who emboldens new voices and critically necessary perspectives in our shared political futures. It would honestly make her day if you followed her on Twitter.

Aedan is the Data Director at Bluebonnet Data. He is an avid amateur foodie and loves making maps and other interactive data visualizations to help himself and others better understand complex problems. Please send him recipe recommendations (


If you like what you’ve read and want to learn more, you can reach us at Or, want smart, passionate, young folx to help with your data now? Bring on a Bluebonnet team!


bottom of page