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Wall Street Journal: Lost in Translation: GOP Struggles With Hispanics

Author: Neil King Jr.
September 3, 2012

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Neil King Jr. of the Wall Street Journal explains that despite several shared beliefs, the Republican Party and the Latino community are at odds over immigration and how their support will influence the presidential elections in November.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Dotted with businesses flashing names such as Las Delicias and El Rey del Pollo, Charlotte's Central Avenue should be fertile ground for Republicans seeking inroads into the state's booming Latino community.

Instead, it offers evidence both of the depth of the Republican Party's challenge with Hispanics and the opportunities that may await if the party can recraft its message.

At Las Delicias, a bakery pungent with the smell of empanadas, 36-year-old owner Manuel Betancur blames President Barack Obama for a weak economy and scant progress on promised immigration reforms.

A few blocks east, Luis Sepulveda, the 70-year-old owner of the El Rey Del Pollo restaurant, rubs his hands on his apron and describes what he likes about the GOP: "They have more respect for life, for family. They are better at running the economy."

But neither man plans to vote for Mr. Obama's Republican rival, Mitt Romney. Citing the party's stance on immigration, both harbor reservations about the GOP and what Mr. Sepulveda calls "its hostility toward Hispanics."

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