05/17/2013 10:25 am ET

Why Republicans Can't Fix Their Hispanic Problem

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Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that Republicans aren’t as doomed with Hispanics as people think. Turnout among Hispanics is low, and Brooks says those who don’t vote tend to have more conservative attitudes than those who do. He thinks one reason conservative Hispanic voters are staying home is that they care about supporting the poor and they believe Republicans don’t -- so Republicans must fix that perception.

This is a plausible diagnosis, though, of course, the perception of Republican hostility toward Hispanics also matters, as Brooks notes in discussing “self-deportation.” Unfortunately, the three prescriptions Dr. Brooks writes to align the Republican agenda with the interests of the poor won’t work.

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