Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

About

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→

Research

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

Mitt:  it was a long hard slog but we did it, now comes the run to the middle.  You’ve got a lot of ground to make up after out-righting the right but no steeper will your climb be than with the Latino electorate.  Moving forward here’s our three-pronged Latino action plan – hold the line with the Cuban vote, throw in the towel with the Latino Democratic vote, and fire up the Republican and Republican leaning Mexican voters in the West as if you’re life depended on it because well, politically it does.

Operation Hold the Line – Cubans in Florida

You’ve already got the Cuban love, now just keeping stoking that fire of good feeling.  We mopped the floor with Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul in the January primary.   However, don’t loose sight of the fact that the Latino component of this win was highly concentrated among Cuban immigrants in Miami-Dade County.  Any hopes that we can get the Puerto Rican vote in the Central part of the state is pure Disney World fantasy.

So we don’t need to worry about revving up the older Cuban voters that fled the Castro regime—and yes, I won’t forget to send Ozzie that thank you note.  What does worry me is the American-born Cuban voters. I’m especially worried about all of those Cuban jovencitos that fell under Barack Obama’s spell in 2008.  We have a shot with them, but we can’t keep coming back to our Fidel line.  To keep them in the Republican fold and most importantly out to the polls we’ve got to relate to them on a policy level.  I’ll be working on that end, but in the meantime don’t let up on the Rubio flirtation!

Operation Throw in the Towel – Latino Democrats

You are not George W. Bush and I am not Karl Rove.  We’ve got to face the fact that we don’t have a well-developed strategy or history of courting crossover votes from Latino Democrats.  Our primary election strategy of cozying up to the Tea Party anti-immigrant blitz closed off any chance of gaining a second look from Latino Democrats.  And yes, even the very socially conservative ones.  Regrettably that darned issue of immigration has remained number one or two among Latino Democrats.  (more…)

In the lead up to the Florida primary political attention has turned to the Latino electorate. Florida is the exception that confirms the Latinos-as Democrats rule where the vast majority of Latino voters support the GOP. In this portion of UP we discuss how the Florida Latino political landscape compares to the larger national Latino political landscape and how the issue of immigration is not a deciding issue for the Florida electorate.

This article was originally published at NBC Latino

Judging by the more than 400 “likes” on Newt Gingrich – Para Latinos Facebook, Newt Gingrich should do well with Latinos in the Florida primary this coming Tuesday. By contrast, Mitt Romney only has a dozen or so “likes” on his page.  But Facebook popularity does not win elections because according to the Univision-ABC-Latino Decisions poll released this week of Latino Florida voters Romney wins the popularity contest that really matters.

Less than a week before the primary, Mitt Romney’s favorability among Latinos in Florida is at 40%, comfortably ahead of Newt Gingrich’s 33% approval. More specifically, Romney’s favorables are not only higher but his unfavorables are lower than Gingrich’s. When these Latino voters were asked who they would vote for, Romney’s favorability ratings translated into solid vote intentions, 35%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20%, Ron Paul at 6%, and Rick Santorum at 8%.

Gingrich may be surging among the general electorate in Florida, but among Floridian Latinos a surge has yet to materialize. They refuse to embrace Newt Gingrich even though he is the only candidate that has coordinated a consistent Latino outreach effort since late 2010. His is the only campaign with a full fledged Spanish language website, presidentegingrich.com, which greets the Latino visitors with a list of 10 reasons why he’s their guy. Romney on the other hand has a a rinky-dink English language page that looks like a low-tech blog. (more…)