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

This post originally appeared The Nation blog. 

Primary elections are about running to the extremes; general elections are about running to the middle. In the case of Republicans that journey back to the middle is one that has to be balanced keeping their fragile base of Evangelicals, tea partiers and free-marketers content yet reaching a growing percentage of voters that no longer identify with one party. General elections in the modern times are increasingly about wooing Independent voters, and as we move into the general election, the focus will be on them. Romney, the likely nominee, will have to balance his ticket with someone that will satisfy his base and yet be able to reach Independent voters in the swing states. There are a number of likely picks but the happy middle for Romney seems to have Gingrich’s name on it.

The recent political chatter has centered on the Rand Paul vice presidential possibility. On the surface it seems plausible. First, it would at least explain why Ron Paul has been so uncharacteristically tame toward Romney. Second, Rand Paul is a conservative Southerner an identity that Romney does not connect well with. However, Rand Paul’s brand of conservatism is far too extreme for the general voter. In Paul’s senate campaign he argued that private businesses should still have the right to discriminate. One thing is to advocate for state’s rights in general terms and the other is to try to argue against a long settled constitutional and societal norm that discrimination is unacceptable. While this position did not harm his election, it may not play as well outside of his home state of Kentucky and the Deep South. (more…)