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

Which Republican party gave the State of the Union response?

Four of the last Republican responses to the State of the Union address have been given by minorities. Nimrata Randhawa Haley, otherwise known as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, gave the most recent one Tuesday night. She is the first female to serve as South Carolina’s governor, the second Indian-American state governor, and in her own words, “the proud daughter of Indian immigrants.”

The young and politically nimble governor has become a Republican superstar, heavily rumored to be on vice presidential shortlists for Republican presidential contenders. And there is no mistaking Haley with a Democrat – she’s fiscally and socially conservative. Just ask Sarah Palin who endorsed her early on. Haley also has no problem bashing Democrats and President Barack Obama, but at the same time she believes her party needs “to recognize contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership.”

But amid her conservative-ness, Haley engages in moderate rhetoric. Perhaps no where was this more apparent than in her discussion of immigration last night. (more…)

This post originally appeared on NBCnews.com

Significantly more Latinos than non-Latinos see climate change as a critical threat, but there is a narrower gap when asked about whether immigration is a threat to the country, according to a newly released poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Yet on most foreign policy issues, Latinos had very similar views to non-Latinos when surveyed, challenging the notion that large numbers of Latino immigrants coming to the United States will not share the same values.

“Some people worry that the changing demographics will shift our foreign policy priorities and that Latin Americans will have greater loyalty to their countries of origin,” said the study’s co-author Dina Smeltz. “Instead what we see is an expression of investment in this country regarding economic policy and security.”

Both groups view the United States as the most influential country in the world and favor strong US leadership. By extension, Latinos and non-Latinos (68% and 69% respectively) approve of the use of American military forces to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and see terrorism as a critical threat. (more…)