Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


Victoria is Assistant Dean at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo. Her areas of expertise in the domestic policy landscape include immigration, Latinos, women and childcare, and economic equity. more→


Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding policy development and its intersection with institutional and political contexts. Underlying her academic work is the applicability of rigorous research to on-the-ground policy realities.

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

Recent Media

In this installment of the University of Texas Election Series I discuss the voting trends of women. In particular I focus on the gender gap and how women traditionally tend to favor the Democratic candidate. Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election I consider how the recent relevance of issues such as contraception coverage will enter into the electoral context.

This post originally appeared on NBCLatino

Less is more for the Republican Party when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. Conservative Republican women may fully support the strategy of curtailing such healthcare access but the rest of the female electorate does not take kindly to such an approach.  Neither do Latinas.  Ninety-five percent of Latinas believe women should have easy access to contraception.  The GOP’s culture war is not only alienating Latinas, but in turn, they are also alienating the families that are politically guided by mama.

In Latino households it is not uncommon to have the grandparents, parents, kids, and even grandkids all under the same roof.  And amidst this potential familial chaos the Latina mom brings order to it all as the nucleus of the family.  So if mom can bring order to chaos on the family front, why not on the political front?   Well, focus group research has actually found this to be the case, that Latina moms are a key political organizational force within their households and communities.  In the current political context that means Latinas are not only opposing limitations to women’s healthcare access but also mobilizing the rest of the family against it. (more…)

In this episode we discuss the comprise President Obama came to with religious leaders regarding contraception, the role of women in the front lines and how the President is faring with progressive women.

Watch February 10, 2012 on PBS. See more from To The Contrary.