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

CLEVELAND — Donald Trump accepted the GOP’s nomination Thursday in the same way he launched his campaign: slamming immigrants and linking them to crime.

Trump didn’t budge from his combative stance on immigration as he wrapped up the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

He officially accepted the party’s nomination for president by telling a pumped-up crowd that the nation’s security is under threat from immigrants and illegal immigration.

“Nearly 180,000 people with criminal records ordered deported from our country are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens,” he said.

“We are going to build a great border wall,” Trump said to cheers, saying this will stop drugs, crime and violence.

Trump’s remarks were met with chants of “Build a Wall,” which has become one of the slogans of his campaign.

Trump reminded the crowd that on Monday night they heard from three people whose loved ones were murdered by immigrants not legally in the country.

“We heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants … They are just three brave representatives of many thousands,” Trump said.

Trump’s speech topped a week of convention speakers linking immigrants in the country illegally to crime. (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…)