Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

About

Victoria is a political scientist that got the political nerd bug in middle school student council. Today she hangs her hat at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and engages in political wonkiness on MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. more→

Research

Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding the politics, policies and people that shape our fascinating yet frustrating political landscape. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, political psych, & elections.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

As a child of the 1990s I appreciated the Three Amigosesque reference to the bad hombres Trump made in the final presidential debate.

The famous (or infamous) Donald Trump has come full circle. He launched his campaign over a year ago railing against Mexico sending immigrant “rapists” and drug dealers. More than a year later his closing pitch to the American public is his insistence he’ll keep out the bad hombres.

That’s too bad, and it’s too bad for his party. (more…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

There were numerous memorable moments in the first and only vice presidential debate. But one phrase stole the show and will live in perpetuity in the annals of political memes -“That Mexican Thing” or the complete version – “Whipping out that Mexican thing again.”

After more than 20 years in politics Democratic vice presidential candidateTim Kaine has surely been accused of many things, but “whipping out that Mexican thing” was not one of them, at least until the vice presidential debate.

Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia and former governor, was recounting offensive statements made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to which Indiana Gov. Mike Pence responded with the now infamous meme.

The double entendre of “whipping out that Mexican thing” is irresistible and really quite funny. After the silly giggle moment, then there’s the realization that this is a platter of red meat for the base that thinks that Democrats are whiners and obsessed with multi-culti kumbaya fuzziness.

But scratch below the surface and Pence’s remark is a profound statement about the foundational aspect of the Trump-Pence campaign. The GOP presidential campaign is one that has been built upon “otherization” — driving a wedge among people. (more…)