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.

WASHINGTON — Latinos in the nation’s capital were absorbing the seismic political shift created as Donald Trump took the oath and faced the world as the nation’s 45th president.

For Victor Diaz, 58, of Lansing, Michigan, it was a celebratory time.

“I’m a big Trump supporter; I’m a big supporter of individual rights and freedoms,” said Diaz, who described himself as an “Atlas Shrugged” fan. The book is considered a “bible” for those who advocate for little government and unfettered libertarian policies. “I think Hispanics by nature are driven to more entrepreneurial enterprises to just drive and make the best for their families and that’s what Trump supports.That’s what he wants.”

Erick Walden, 24, born in Nicaragua and living in Virginia, carried with him a Hillary Clinton face cutout. He said he and his father had been to the Obama inauguration and came to this too to continue the tradition.

But they stood among a crowd of fellow Hillary supporters and protesters who chanted about Trump, “not my president.” Walden said that made the event “good.”

“I saw him swearing that he’s going to respect the Constitution of the United States — he’s not going to do it,” said Walden. “I don’t believe he’s going to last two, more than two years. He’s going to be involved in too many scandals. He’s going to try to raise money for himself.”

In his first remarks as commander in chief, Trump struck a different tone than the “hope and change” espoused by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

In stark terms, Trump said, “This American carnage stops right here,” describing a country of shuttered factories, dilapidated infrastructure and battered inner cities. (more…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Class was in session. In his farewell address to the nation President Obama was the consummate professor — reviewing what the basis of our Democracy is and what we have accomplished in the span of 240 years, while reminding us that change is painful, slow, and even sometimes regressive.

The history lesson was interesting. But it just wasn’t wonkiness for wonkiness sake. President Obama’s deliberate review of the bones of our democratic system and our genesis as a country provided a big picture. And this broad overview was targeted to a very specific group of Americans – all of the ones that voted against President Elect Donald Trump.

President Obama’s take home message was “it’s going to be OK”—our political system can be shaken but its foundations are strong.

For the first several minutes of President Obama’s speech we were planted into a seat of American History 101. He reminded us that the birth of our country is the triumph of a republic over a tyranny and the drive to achieve a more perfect union. At the same time the President highlighted that our democracy does not guarantee uniformity and that while it can take two steps forward it also takes steps back. (more…)