TBF Claire Campos-O'Neal | Texas Politics


In this highly-polarized world, politics is the peak of polarity. When people think Blue versus Red in every conversation, honest and critical analysis of pressing issues often gets left out. Claire Campos-O’Neal seeks to go behind the ballot and really look at the issues in Texas politics independent of Republican or Democratic lenses. Together with her co-host, she puts out regular episodes of the Go Behind the Ballot podcast to reveal patterns that educate her audience on critical issues in local politics. In this conversation with Tracy Hazzard, she explains her method of slowly unraveling issues at a pace that most people are able to keep up with. This way, Claire and her team are democratizing political analysis to help Texans gain heightened awareness of the political climate around them. Tune in and learn how they’re making a nonpartisan political podcast work in this heavily partisan world!

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Demystifying Texas Politics: How To Empower Communities And Amplify Political Engagement With Claire Campos-O’Neal Of Go Behind The Ballot

One of the best parts about being a podcast host is when you meet people out at an event and then you get to check up on them later and see how they’re doing. It’s one of my favorite things when I give a speech and somebody takes something, puts it into action, and then comes back to me and tells me in real-time, “This worked. This was great.” Claire Campos-O’Neal is one of those people that I met.

I met her at Outlier in Austin. It’s an independent podcaster event. She impressed me with what she was working on. At the time, I think she had just started the podcast or was about to start it. It was about to start any day. It was wonderful for me to catch up with her and find out what she was doing and how it was going. I was so excited about this call with her.

Claire Campos-O’Neal is a mother of two young boys, the daughter of a first-generation Mexican-American, and the co-host of Go Behind the Ballot. In November of 2021, she put her name on the ballot and ran for office for the first time for House District 51 in Texas. While she didn’t win the race, she learned a great deal about our community, the inner workings of local politics, and the importance of putting yourself out there.

The act of courage propelled Claire to launch a podcast Go Behind the Ballot with her co-host Nichole Abshire. Together, they strive to demystify Texas politics one issue at a time. Their show is nonpartisan, pro-democracy, conversational, and always edutaining. In Claire’s free time, she volunteers as the president of the DelVal Education Foundation. She’s passionate about ensuring that Texas students have access to high-quality public education and every opportunity to succeed in school.

Nichole and Claire have done a fantastic job with deep diving into these amazing topics. Even though they’re talking Texas politics, they transfer into our communities and other places that you didn’t imagine. I found lots of commonality to things that I see happening right here in California in terms of politics. It’s fascinating to hear what they’ve discovered along the way. Also, to talk about the nuances of this style of podcast. A political podcast could be a quagmire. It could be difficult. It could be hard to get people to come to the show.

It could be hard to get people to refer to it and tell others that they’re watching your show and listening to your show. This is something that’s interesting and I’m so glad that she was willing to come on the show and talk about what she has built with Go Behind the Ballot and dive into some of the things that they’re going to be trying in the future as well. Let’s hear from Claire Campos-O’Neal from Go Behind the Ballot.

About Go Behind The Ballot Show Podcast Host Claire Campos-O'Neal

TBF Claire Campos-O'Neal | Texas Politics

Claire Campos-O’Neal, mother to two young boys, daughter of a first generation Mexican-American, is the co-host of Go Behind the Ballot.
In November of 2021, she put her name on the ballot and ran for office for the first time for House District 51. While she didn’t win the race, she learned a great deal about her community, the inner workings of local politics and the importance of putting yourself out there.
This act of courage propelled Claire to launch a podcast ‘Go Behind the Ballot’ with her co-host Nichole Abshire. Together they strive to demystify Texas politics one issue at a time. Their show is non-partisan, pro-democracy, conversational and always edu-taining.
In Claire’s free time she volunteers as the President of the Del Valle Education Foundation. She is passionate about ensuring that Texas students have access to high quality public education and every opportunity to succeed in school.

Follow Claire Campos-O’Neal on Social:

FB – @gobehindtheballot
Instagram – @gobehindtheballot
LinkedIn – gobehindtheballot
YouTube – @gobehindtheballot7055

Claire, I am so glad to reconnect with you. We met in person in Texas and we’ve had a few conversations and a few strategies. I have to say that my research this time and listening to the podcast, I was lighting up at how far it has come. Do you feel that way? From episode 1 to episode 70, you’ve come far.

I do. It’s funny because we had a panel at South by Southwest in the Civic Engagement tracks. Our show is about civic engagement and politics. This time in 2022, my husband and I were staying in downtown Austin for a staycation. South By had just ended and I remember thinking, “I wonder what it’s like to go to South By. I wonder what it’s like to have a podcast.” I remember researching podcasting that week and being like, “Maybe I could do this,” and then a year later, not only am I doing it, but I’m at South By as a speaker. It is pretty amazing to see how quickly things can happen when you stick with it and you persevere. I’m like, “I can’t believe I’m here.” It is cool.

You have an episode that I want to make sure that I connect into the blog post for this episode with me here, but you have an episode where you recapture the end of the year and what were some of your favorite parts about the year. I thought it was so great because normally, I hear those episodes and those episodes are like, “I love this episode and this guest.” They’re just highlighting episodes they want people to listen to but your takeaways we’re not that.

Your takeaways are about what you got back from it. Your takeaways were what you learned and how it felt when people engaged with you. I thought that was beautiful. Tell the audience a little bit about this idea of the first time you heard back from someone who was listening to your show. How did that feel and what was that experience?

It’s rewarding and exciting. I’m someone who has listened to podcasts for fifteen years when podcasting just started to be a thing. I had a job at the time with a lot of downtime so I would listen to shows because nobody cared. I was like, “This is great. I get to sit here to work and learn. I love it.” When we created our show, I wanted it to be like the shows I loved where I was learning interesting things throughout the day.


TBF Claire Campos-O'Neal | Texas Politics


I remember one of the first women that we heard back from had found our show not by googling but by searching in her podcast search bar about charter schools in Texas. She sent us an email and she was like, “This is something I had no knowledge on. I was so confused. I couldn’t find any good information, but I found your show. Everything started to make sense.”

We then connected her to our guest and our guest has since helped her further understand this complicated issue. It was the show I wish I had found a year ago before I understood anything about charter schools. We truly do love the learning journey for ourselves and our listeners because it lights up my brain.

I also like when I can understand and make sense of the world. I feel like we’re doing that for our listeners and ourselves. The more we hear it, the more it’s like, “I missed that thing.” Me and Nichole, my co-host will talk about it online or offline, but we can’t get enough. We are like, “Let’s keep going, find out more, and connect the dots.”

The choice of a co-host is great for you because with the topic of politics in general, especially local politics, the more viewpoints, the better that is. That it’s interesting. Was that difficult to make it happen? I know this because co-hosting can be such a difficult part for lots of people. How did it come about for you and Nichole?

It came about pretty easily. I guess the way the podcast idea came about was I had run for office. I was running to be the Democratic nominee for House District 51 here in Texas. I lost that race but learned a lot. I thought I was going to write a book about that experience of how to run as a super duper grassroots candidate. I raced $15,000, which is not a lot for that kind of race, but I was like, “I’m going to try and throw my hat in the ring.”

I wanted to write about how to do that, and also if you don’t win to see the other opportunities to come about from putting your name out there. I talked to Nichole because she had written a book and self-published it. As we were discussing writing a book and politics, she was like, “You have to build an audience.

Slowly it was like, “Maybe we should do a podcast about politics.” At first, I thought it would be about running for office, but then because Nichole’s pretty new to this space, she was like, “Maybe we should first explain things to people.” I was like, “Yeah. That’s smart. We should do that.” We met at an acting class seven years ago. We had a good rapport and a good relationship. I think our brains track similarly so she’ll spark ideas for me and I will for her. It’s easy for us to continue that free thinking and it’s not difficult. Maybe we’re lucky but I’m always like, “Nichole, that’s a great point.”

The co-hosting in your situation is done well. That’s what I want people to listen to and understand. There’s an interesting dynamic of maybe playing off of each other and you do that well, which is a sign of good friends or some people who know each other well or in this case, I think similar goals and mindshare into what you want to hear and get out of your show.

You’re both on the right track for that. You’re not competing against that and that’s not that common, to be honest with you. It’s why most co-hosting doesn’t work well. It’s because they’re not aligned with their ultimate goal of what they want to do. I think you guys have done a great job of doing that exploration and explaining without explaining which would be so boring and it’s not that at all.

Nichole says, “I’m the one that comes to this not having the political vernacular or the jargon.” People always speak in shorthand when it comes to politics and I’m starting to do that too because I’ve been around it a little bit longer but not my whole life like some people we interview maybe in the last five years. She’ll be like, “Can we stop real quick and break this down? Can we make sure we’re all on the same page?”

I appreciate that she does that. She’s also good at elaborating, expanding, and recapping things that have been discussed because I’m learning the importance of repetition for me and our listeners. That’s how you start to influence people and maybe change their minds a little bit and give them new food for thought.

I always go over everybody’s binge factor. The most impressive part for me and the part that would make me binge on your show, and I’m not even in Texas, is that there is this thread that you pull through all of the shows where you’re starting to uncover things like dark money, Christian nationalism, and the pattern of how it works in politics.

You’re pulling that through and connecting the threads from the various episodes, the various experts, and the people you’re talking to in such a great way that I’m starting to see that pattern revealed to me but not pushed at me as a listener. That helps me get to that a-ha place a lot faster than it would if you just said, “This is how it is and this is what we have to fight against.”

I appreciate that. We are intentional about not wanting to be super partisan or be like talk radio, “This side is a bunch of idiots and they don’t know anything.”

It’s shock jocking. We talked about that on another show.

I don’t like that. I grew up with that being in the background on the car radio when we were going on road trips. It’s very unappealing to me. It’s like I want to make the show I want to listen to. The podcasts I listen to are in that newsy space. We’re not journalists but we are curious and we want to pull the thread and connect the dots. We say too that at the end of the day, it’s about following our curiosity and trying to reveal the abyssal machinery that’s controlling politics in our lives and why it is this way.

Once you can see that, then say, “Do we like this?” If we don’t like it, how do we change it? It’s walking step by step and things aren’t siloed. We’re learning. Everything is so interconnected. The more you can connect it, the more you can come at it holistically and come up with better solutions. A lot of people do want better solutions. A lot of people are like, “The government doesn’t work.” There’s a reason it doesn’t work. It can work. Different political choices can be made.

TBF Claire Campos-O'Neal | Texas Politics

Texas Politics: Everything is so interconnected. The more you can connect it, the more you can come at it holistically and come up with better solutions.


It’s so interesting that you say that because I was thinking that it’s the whole point and the curiosity part of it. You’ve built this into the model of the show. You get to explore these things. You get to go down this path and find out what’s going on with some of the dark money or something that is of interest to understand how this work. At the end of the day, your biggest return on investment could come from the fact that you’re going to see a path that no one else did, and then you’re going to say, “This is how I could run again next time in a different way that has a better chance of success.”

I could see that, for sure. The exciting thing too about having the podcast is we get to talk to people who we’ll see on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. I’m like, “I love what they’re doing.” We tend to highlight people who are doing what we are doing. It’s like, “This doesn’t make sense. Let’s go figure it out.” They were like, “Come talk to us and help our audience plug into the thing you were exploring,” like the Chris Tackett episode about dark money in politics.

He was a guy who helped a friend run for office. He could not understand how his friend lost because his friend was a superintendent in the local district. He should have had all the support but this other candidate had all this money and he was like, “Where did this money come from?” He started looking under the hood and now that’s what he does specifically for Texas politics. It’s amazing what he’s done by following his curiosity. Being able to elevate people like Chris and some of our other guests is rewarding. We get to have a better relationship with him now but also our listeners are aware of them and their cool work.

That’s something so interesting. I had listened to that episode as I was going through it. It’s something that started to shift here in California. We have all these ballot initiatives all the time. If you’ve ever been in the state of California during the year leading up to an election, all you hear are prop number ads all over the place. There’s a ton of money in them.

The successful campaigns against those props, because they’re usually sponsored by some dark money somewhere, have been only hitting on who’s behind the money and who’s behind the proposition. That’s how they’re getting defeated again and again. It’s revealing that. They figured out the formula to fight somebody else bringing money into the state because Californians hate the idea of some other state trying to tell us what to do, which I’m sure Texans do to as well. If you can reveal that, that’s a winning strategy. It is so interesting that it’s the way he decided to go down to look at it.

People don’t like being deceived. It’s very frustrating when you feel the rugs pulled out from under you. I thought I was supporting this thing that was going to make my life better but it’s doing the opposite. People get mad once they start to put that together. Chris does a good job of showing how it is in Texas politics. In that episode, there are these West Texas billionaires who fund elections but they make it look very grassroots and organic.

Once you start following the money, you’re like, “It’s these two guys that are pretending to be this massive coalition but it’s not really that.” People don’t like that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. They’re like, “I want a person of integrity and who aligns my values, but when you deceive me, I don’t know if I’m cool with this all of a sudden.”

At the end of the day, people want to know what they’re getting themselves into but I think we see a lot of voter apathy because people are very cynical, and we’re trying to be like, “Don’t be so cynical.” There is a way to reengage but it is hard because it feels like you have to fact-check so much now and you’re like, “Can I trust them?”

People don't like being deceived. It doesn’t matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat. People want to know what they're getting themselves into. Click To Tweet

I think this is the topic that I wanted to head into and talk about it. By choosing podcasting, you’ve chosen something that’s long-form. Politics is a long game. Podcasting is a long game, as I’m sure you’ve figured out already, but coalition building is even a longer game. You’ve tied in something where the model of how you are promoting and gathering people into your community, the mission that you’re on to look at things and change things is matched with the media type you chose. Are you finding that the match is a much more winning strategy for you in terms of building your list and other things like that?

I think podcasting is a good match for us because as I was saying, people have a hard time entering into politics because it’s complicated. It’s overwhelming and you don’t know who to trust. What Nichole and I try to do a lot in our show is build trust with our audience. By that, not bashing the other side or saying, “This idea is stupid.” There’s always a reason why someone is voting a particular way and to put a label on them like, “They’re idiots.” They are not. There’s a reason they’re doing that.

Let’s understand that reason and maybe explain why our reason could be better. However, podcasting is great because you tune in. For us, our show is two times a week and you develop that relationship with the host and hopefully, some trust. When they bring on guests, the trust they have for you lends it to the guest as well.

We pick people who are a good fit for the topic, but also who we feel are a good trustworthy professional resource and not someone who’s like, “This is my opinion,” like they actually do their research on particular things. We have a newsletter now too which helps to recap our shows because they are a little bit longer. They’re about 40 to 50 minutes.

I know not everyone has all the time to listen, so you can at least get a quick snapshot of what we talked about. Hopefully, if you see the newsletter and you’re like, “That sounds fascinating. Let me go hear the show.” We try to get them both ways depending on how their week looks and if they have time to sit and listen, do laundry and listen, drive and listen or however they listen. I listen nonstop. I’ll fit it in there somehow.

Your subscriber base and your email list have grown over the last year. When you said you raised $15,000 for your campaign, I’m thinking, “You can hardly build a list the size of yours right now with that money.” It’s hard to do that. The fact that your email subscriber base is growing and that is tapping into a broader movement over time, it’s going to be a powerful part of any future platform for you. Whether it’s joining in the fight against food insecurity or joining in to help the next candidate get elected or yourself.

You mentioned something about timeliness and that you do this twice a week. The interesting part about that is you’re resisting. It’s because podcasting is a long game. You know that it’s there and people listen at a different pace. You are fighting the opportunity to be reactive. You have a school shooting happening. You have big things going on in the state, changes in bills and laws, and things that are going on. You want to be relevant to those things but you also don’t want to be reactive.

That’s maybe the place for TikTok and not necessarily a place for your podcast. You guys have resisted that to some extent and instead said, “How do I feel about this? Let me explore what might be underneath this and let’s talk about that.” I thought that was an interesting model that you’re building on here. Keeping that in mind, is it hard to resist that, “Let’s comment on what’s going on?”

It has been pretty easy to resist it. We do our show in series and they’ve been about seven weeks per series so far. First is public education. We did elections that did time up timing-wise leading up to the midterms but it wasn’t like, “Vote for this candidate or this initiative.” It was like, “What does an elections administrator do? Now, that voting is coming around, maybe we should understand their role and why we need to make sure we have good laws that are making it harder to minister elections.”

We had an episode about voting history. Is it historically getting easier to vote in Texas or harder to vote? It’s timely-ish but because we’re thinking so far ahead of time, it helps keep us grounded and not trying to react to what’s happening at the moment. Also, the thing I don’t about reacting at the moment personally is you don’t have all the facts and this is the solution. This is my opinion. It’s like, “Maybe we should pump the brakes and think a little bit more deeply about this.” That’s not in my nature so I’m okay being a little bit more of a bird’s eye view when it comes to political issues.

TBF Claire Campos-O'Neal | Texas Politics

Texas Politics: When reacting in the moment, you don’t have all the facts. Sometimes it helps to pump the brakes and think a little more deeply.


I think that’s great. Just an example of how one of your listeners found you by searching for something about charter schools in Texas. You’ve made it so that it’s more timeless and that next time there’s midterm elections or there’s the election time and I want to know something, your topic is matched to me searching for that and understanding that. It doesn’t matter if it was aired a year earlier. It’s still going to be relevant to me. It will then get me to join and listen to your show to hear what you’re talking about now.

I keep making it about me, but who cares? That’s how I learn. If I find a writer who I think is interesting and cool, I go to my podcast app and search for their name. I want to hear all the episodes they’ve been in or if there’s a topic I want to learn more about like Critical Race Theory. We had an episode on Critical Race Theory. I was like, “What are other people saying about it?” I go search it and then I find those episodes. I wanted us to be that as well for people. They’re like, “What is Christian Nationalism in Texas?” Go listen to our show. We talked about it so that they can return and it is still valuable hopefully, years down the road.

That’s a great plan. We’re both South by Southwest graduates or panelists. We all got to be there. Tom and I did that back in 2018. We did a panel on 3D printing. It was very bizarre but it fits the technology side of it. You obviously did something completely different but I think there are a lot of people who would love to get involved with South by Southwest. How did that come about for you and how did the podcast make that easy?

You gave me the idea Tracy. I remember we had talked when Nichole and I were a little new to the show. I think we had maybe released fifteen-ish episodes and we were going to go to this festival called TribFest in Austin that the Texas Tribune puts on. It’s a big political festival. I remember asking you, “What should we do? What should our goal be?” You were like, “Make some stickers because stickers are great to pass out.”

You said, “In future events like this, you should try to see if you can do a podcast publicity pop-up.” I had that in my head. I was like, “What’s the next event we can try to do?” Somehow I came across South by Southwest because they had a specific civic engagement track. I was like, “That’s perfect for us.” I threw out feelers to my network. I’m a member of The Junior League of Austin and I asked that network, “Does anyone work for South By?”

Sure enough, a woman I volunteered with had just started there. I talked to her. I was like, “How can we get in? I don’t even know. Can we stand in the corner with a microphone? What are our options?” She was like, “We do have a podcast lounge but I’m not part of that team but I could put you in touch with the events coordinator for the civic engagement track. Do you guys want to pitch a panel?” This was after the panel picker had been closed. This is where you pitch a panel and the public can decide what they want to go check out. We had the backdoor access point but we still had to pitch our specific panel.

This friend that I knew from South By and I had volunteered in this program addressing food insecurity at a local elementary school. She was like, “What about food insecurity? Would you guys be interested in that?” We were like, “We’re interested in everything. Yes, we can structure something around food insecurity in Texas.” It was through talking with her.

We also connected with our first panelist, Celia Cole from Feeding Texas. She helped give us ideas about the shape of it. I and Nichole went and brainstormed in. We thought, “Why is there so much food insecurity in Texas? Why are 1 in 8 Texans food insecure? Texas is the world’s ninth-largest economy. We have so much money and wealth here, but so many people are left out of that abundance.” That was what we kept thinking about. That’s the direction we took and it was cool that we got to do it because it felt like such a long shot, but I was like, “Why not? Maybe it’ll happen,” and it did.

Texas is the world's ninth largest economy. We have so much money in wealth here, but so many people are left out of that abundance. Click To Tweet

There’s a great benefit to any event tying themselves to a podcast, and a lot of them don’t realize it. Luckily, South By has been doing this for quite some time. That year that we did it was the very first podcast interface that they had, and they had this whole podcast area that was sponsored. They would bring in different panels, different sponsors, different interviews, and different live podcasts.

It was the very first year they had done it and they realized there’s a power there because we have an audience. We’re bringing our audience and if it doesn’t happen this year, it cascades into the next year. That’s the power of doing that. I’m so glad you did that and I’m so glad I was this little part of inspiring you to go for it. What everyone else wants to hear here and what I want you to hear is that Claire didn’t sit around and say, “That sounds like a great idea,” and wait for them to invite her.

She went out there, found someone, connected, and figured out a way through that process. That’s what it takes as a podcaster. We’re grinding it out, but when we make it happen, it has great residual value to the show. It’ll have cascading effects. You’d be surprised what she gets invited to next. Let’s talk about what’s next for you. You’re thinking about building a nonprofit and growing in this way. Tell us a little bit about what’s next for you and the show.

What we have been trying to crack is the monetization riddle. We’ve talked to a lot of other podcasters who are successful and people who are in journalism. We’re not journalists but we’ve had a lot of success learning from nonprofit journalism here in Texas. We’ve been getting feedback like, “You guys are doing educational work. You’re doing civic engagement work. You should consider becoming a nonprofit and trying to apply for grants. Also, get the money that way and maybe still have some membership model as well.”

That’s what we’re going to pursue, and maybe even a philanthropic donor will be interested in the work we’re doing. A lot of things that get funding that we’re discovering are when people talk about democracy, freedom, and civic engagement. It’s because we don’t have a lot of civic education here in Texas, to be honest. There are a lot of people with money who light up when you talk about those things.

We’re like, “Maybe this is the track that makes more sense for us. We’re going to explore that. I’m still trying to find people who have done it to be like, “How do you do this?” However, for some things, it’s like, “We’re going to have to trail that path ourselves.” It’s a lot of trial and error. We’ve met a lot of great people who have helped us. What has helped me was running for office and then starting the podcast.

Running for office, I’m more of an introverted and shy person. You can’t be that. You have to be assertive. You can’t just wait. You have to go because the election is coming. With the podcast, I still have that urgency and I’m going to ask. If they say no, whatever, I’ll find another person to help me out. That has been a good takeaway.

It’s training you to run again.

I say no, but then who knows? It could happen. Anything could happen.

That’s the other part I wanted to touch on before we go here, which is the idea that putting yourself out there in this way can have a backlash. Have you found that you’re being trolled a little bit more, especially in politics right now? We’ve been hearing about people who are in that election management system are being completely hounded. Are you afraid of that? Is that happening to you at all? Are you like, “I’m going to hold my own because the show is good?”

Maybe running for office gave me a little bit of training in that. There are always going to be people who are chattering and saying things about you that aren’t true. It’s reminding yourself like, “I knew who I am. I know what I’m doing is important. They’re just trying to get me off track.” I think about Brené Brown. I read a lot of Brené Brown before running for office. She talks about the arena. If you’re not in the arena, your opinion doesn’t matter to me. This chatter around you. These people are at their homes behind their computers. They’re not doing anything. Until you’re doing the work, I’m not interested in your opinion.

That’s a great Teflon attitude to have, which I appreciate. You’re right about this. So often I hear, and this is the interesting part, and they never listen to the show. They may be commenting on it being posted on social media, but they didn’t listen to the show. Those listeners of yours will jump down and tamp it down faster than you can. That’s what I find.

It’s like, “Did you even listen?” It’s because that’s not what they were talking about. That’s an interesting model of saying, “My listeners are my listeners. This is the arena I’m playing in. This is the mission and focus that we’re going to go towards.” Sticking with that and staying strong is the best strategy.

We ask for feedback all the time. We do genuinely want people to tell us, “Are the shows too long? Is there something else you want to hear about? Please help us get better.” To say and name things that don’t help at all, no, thank you. I’m going to go do the other thing I need to do.

Claire, I am so glad that this show has taken off, Go Behind the Ballot. I love the concept of it when you were talking with me about it originally. I love to see how it’s transformed into something easy for you to run and that seems natural for everything that you do. Your key factor in its success and why it’s going to continue to be successful is that you are revealing at a pace that is easier to digest. That repetitiveness that you were talking about is helping your audience come around to sit to that a-ha that they need to get involved.

Thank you. It’s like with anything in politics or education, repetition matters. Previously, I was hesitant. I was like, “Running for office, your stump speech. You got to say it over and over.” I was like, “No. This should be different.” It’s like, “No. You say it again and again because that is what will stick into people’s heads at some point.” You have to tell them a bunch. Don’t think that they’ve heard it. Who are they? Most people have never heard it. Don’t be scared to say the same things 100 times.

Don't be scared to say the same things a hundred times. Click To Tweet

I can’t wait to see what’s next. You’ll have to keep in touch with us and let us know how it goes. When you get that nonprofit up and running, we’ll have to talk again.

That sounds great.

Thank you so much, Claire.

There are so many challenges to doing a localized podcast. We’ve talked about this on the show with other podcasters who have a more local-based show. This is a very large state. Texas is a giant state, and whether it’s happening in her little house district or not, it’s still universal. Listening to this is an insight into how politics runs around the country. There are lots of them for even other people outside of her local community, but you want to promote your podcast within your community.

There are so many challenges to that. First off, you’ve got the challenge of, “Do I want to admit that I listen to your podcast and will I share it on social media?” Maybe in this world, that’s the easy part because we have so much of our community that’s similar in thinking to us. It might be easier to get people to share it on social media, but it could also be a challenge.

This is something that you want to think carefully about as you’re structuring and titling your show. They were smart about it that they didn’t say, “This is a Democratic,” or “This is a Republican podcast.” They said very clearly, “No, we’re going to talk issues and we’re going to understand where those issues came from, what the two sides think about those issues, what’s going on in that, and why it should matter to me in local politics.”

Some of the things that I found about that are this pervasive movement of Christian Nationalism, charter schools, dark money, and food insecurity. This is pretty much in every one of our neighborhoods. That’s where a podcast is so perfect for what they’re building here. I’m impressed with everything that they’ve done. I hope that this takes off and continues to move for them.

I’m super proud of them getting to South by Southwest. That’s an amazing accomplishment. All of you, take a lesson from Claire and from Nichole, and from Go Behind the Ballot. Go out there and ask. Tell people about your show. Go see if you can participate in a local event. Go do it because the rewards that you might get on the other side of it may not even be something you ever even imagined.

I’m so glad to catch up with Claire Campos-O’Neal. I am so proud of how this podcast has turned out for them. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in another year. After the election, we’re going to catch up with her again to see if it had an effect at all. To see if some of the issues got more visibility and change the outcome of the ballot. Maybe that happened.

I can’t wait to see what that is. We’ll check back in here again. Everyone, if you’ve got a podcast out there and you are struggling to figure out how it works, and what you should do, suggest a podcast in a niche that you’d like me to cover. I’m happy to go find a successful podcaster for you and get you some answers in the area that you’re most interested in.

You got to reach out to me. You can connect to any of the hosts that I feature here, but you can also reach out to me and let me know what you’re looking for, or reach out to me anywhere on social media, preferably on LinkedIn. Thanks, everyone for tuning in. I’ll be back with some more successful podcasters here on the show.


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