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

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Clinton has a couple of things she’ll need to make happen this week for Latinos: get younger and former Bernie Sanders supporters on board and get all ages to accept her pick of Tim Kaine over a Latino as her running mate.

Clinton is in good standing with Hispanics heading into the Democratic National Convention that gets under way Monday. She held a 76 percent to 14 percent lead over Donald Trump in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/ Telemundo poll released last Sunday.

But the party is in turmoil after a leak of thousands of emails, some suggesting party attempts to inflict damage on the Bernie Sanders campaign, could stall attempts to shore up support behind a Clinton-Kaine ticket.

Republicans are hoping to turn out higher numbers of non-Latino or Latino Republican voters to make up for the deficit, so Clinton needs to keep those numbers up. Driving them higher wouldn’t hurt.

When cameras pan the convention floor, Democrats will be able to show higher numbers of Latino delegates than Republicans could.

But the conventioneers are the loyalists. There have been plenty of complaints about low investment in Latino voter turnout and about an over-reliance on Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric to turn out Latinos. In 2012, more Latinos eligible to vote stayed home than went to vote. (more…)

This post originally appeared on NBCLatino.

There are no longer smoke-filled rooms where the nomination of a candidate is haggled over. This decision is wrapped up well before convention goers even set foot into the halls. The name of the game at conventions today is messaging. It’s about creating a message framework that gives voters a road map for how to process the information–ads, debates, speeches–that will be pumped out to them in the next two months. It boils down to putting out the most user-friendly message and in this go around, the Democrats got it.

At its core, messaging is an exercise in psychology, providing voters a context (in psychological lingo, a schema) to understand the campaign. The strengths and weaknesses of the content of the Democratic and Republican ideas can be debated elsewhere. But what I want to focus on here is the messaging approach. The Republicans failed to provide an easily accessible conceptual framework for the campaign. In contrast, the Democrats provided a more encompassing, relateable framework.

The Republican message was one of absolutes:  1.)  government is inherently bad 2.)  ideology trumps pragmatism 3.)  citizens are better off on their own. In contrast, the Democratic messagewas grayer, one that did not present itself as either black or white. The Democratic message took a middle ground of:  1.)  shared responsibility and shared opportunity 2.)  government serves all in many ways 3.)  equity equals power. (more…)