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 post originally appeared on MSNBC.com

Both presidential candidates have been laying it on thick with the ladies. Not that I blame them. We not only out-register and out-vote our male counterparts, we are also multi-issue voters otherwise known as swing voters.

Both candidates push a brand of female appeal, whether on the economy, health, or women’s rights. But, Republican nominee Mitt Romney is saddled by a serious problem, bad GOP wingmen.

It’s like Romney is that guy at a party who’s chatting up a lady and his wingman—let’s call him Senate candidate Richard Mourdock—saunters up and, instead of saying something smooth, offends the lady with whom Romney was hoping to close the deal.

While both presidential candidates desperately want the female vote, one of them has the natural advantage: Barack Obama. Today women are eight to 10 percentage points more likely than men to identify as Democrats. In every presidential election since 1980 a greater proportion of women than men have preferred the Democratic candidate. This phenomenon has come to be known as the “gender gap.” In 2008, the gender gap was seven percentage points, and in 1996, we saw the biggest gender gap ever: 11 points separated Bill Clinton from Bob Dole.

So the GOP hasn’t traditionally been popular with female voters. Yet, in the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans saw an increase of 16 percentage points among women for Republican candidates. (more…)