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

Sarah Palin gave birth to “Death Panels” four years ago this month.   Death panels with bureaucrats deciding who got care and who did not, who got to live or die, were quickly debunked.  But there was no stopping the emotional energy opposing the ACA–for Republicans it was a matter of political life or death. In the summer of 2009 Republicans went on the attack, from claims of death panels to shouting matches at constituent town halls.  It was a raucous political summer, to say the least.

The Republican offensive was so swift and powerful that the Democrats did not have a chance to put up much of a defense – let alone an offense.  Democrats were blindsided; just months earlier Barack Obama had won a sweeping victory on a platform of healthcare reform.  The Democrats were left scratching their heads while the Republicans charged forward, culminating in the shellacking in the 2014 mid-term elections.

What a difference four years can make.  Democrats, especially the President, learned from their 2009 mistake – which was putting forward a policy without a defensive or offensive strategy. (more…)

I was recently asked by Sean Hannity if Democrats were scared of Marco Rubio being the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate.  The short answer is no.  The long answer lays in the fact that Rubio cannot help Republicans solve their “Latino problem.”  Rubio is a politico that has two bases of support:  Republican Cubans and Tea Partiers.  The latter could potentially help the Republican ticket, but so could a number of other individuals with Tea Party cred.  The former, Cubano Republicans, are a small fraction of the Latino population.  More importantly, Cubanos vis-à-vis non-Cubano Latinos hold very different political preferences. (more…)