Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


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→


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

The 90’s was the year of the Soccer Mom, the last decade’s elections were about Security Moms, Hockey Moms, and Wal-Mart Moms. Well, this year, the 2012 election will be about Latina Moms…

This article originally appeared as part of the University of Texas Election Series

He’s tall, dark, and handsome. It doesn’t hurt that he croons rhythm and blues and can shake it up on the dance floor. President Obama is the ultimate ladies’ man, but not because of his swagger or looks. His popularity among women boils down to politics. Part of his appeal to women is simply inherited, for decades women have preferred Democratic candidates. The other part of his female magnetism comes from his aggressively courting women this past year by highlighting women’s policy issues.

Women are pre-disposed toward Democratic candidates. In the 2008 presidential election women preferred Barack Obama by seven percent over John McCain. This preference by the part of lady voters in 2008 was only part of a larger trend known as the gender gap. Since 1980 there has been a significant difference between the percentage of women and men voting for a presidential candidates, with larger proportions of women preferring the Democratic candidate. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest gender gap in history occurred in 1996 with President Bill Clinton capturing 11% more of the female vote.

While President Obama knows he’s got the gender gap on his side he’s not relying on this alone going into the 2012 election. Over the last six months the President together with his party’s congressional delegation has sought out policy positions that center on women and more specifically that highlight differences between Republicans and Democrats on such issues. The Democrats have done a good job of racking up the policy points and painting the GOP as not a very attractive guy to go on a date with. (more…)

The panel of this week’s PBS To The Contrary tackled a wide array of issues starting with the call for Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad to stand up to her husband’s attack on his countrymen. We then turn to women in the United States and a new Pew poll that finds that women place a high-paying career as a top priority. Finally, we tackle the issue of immigration with a specific focus on a move to make e-verify mandatory.

Watch April 20, 2012 on PBS. See more from To The Contrary.