In Arizona, exploiting the politics of immigration has worked well for Republicans. Signing SB 1070 got Jan Brewer reelected as governor and created a wedge issue that helped the GOP win a two-thirds majority in the Arizona Legislature in 2010.
But it hasn't been without backlash. Russell Pearce, who led the way in demonizing illegal immigrants, ended up being the first Senate president ever recalled in the history of the United States.
GOP strategists have been warning for some time that a national backlash might be growing as Republican rhetoric on immigration turns off Hispanic voters. Well, check out this Fox News Latino poll:
But the poll shows that the overwhelming choice among likely Latino voters is President Obama. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November, the poll said.
"This is what we're seeing across the country," said Gabriela Domenzain, Obama campaign spokesperson. "The more Latinos learn about the candidates, the more they reject them."
Caught-up in the throes of a bitterly contested primary season, the GOP hopefuls seem to be losing traction among Latino voters.
For Latinos, Immigration is More Personal Than Political, Fox News Latino Poll Says
While the poll indicates that four of five Latinos who voted for Obama in 2008 would vote for him later this year, Latinos who voted for Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain four years ago are now divided between voting for Obama and the Republican candidates. Forty percent said that they favored Obama while 38 percent said they would vote for Romney. Obama also leads Santorum 38 percent to 34, and Gingrich 40 percent to 38.