There's no doubt that the new Arizona immigration law is popular nationally, but that still doesn't mean the issue's going to work to the GOP's advantage this fall.
When we polled Colorado in early March Michael Bennet and Jane Norton were tied. Last week we found Bennet with a 3 point lead. One of the biggest reasons for that shift? Bennet went from leading Norton by 12 points with Hispanic voters to a 21 point advantage. That large shift in a Democratic direction among Hispanics mirrors what we saw in our Arizona Senate polling last month- Rodney Glassman went from trailing John McCain by 17 points with them in September to now holding a 17 point lead.
Hispanics in the Mountain West are leaning much more strongly toward the Democrats since the Arizona law was passed. The big question then becomes whether there are white voters who are going to go Republican this fall who wouldn't have if that bill hadn't been passed. We don't see any evidence of that happening yet- Bennet and Glassman are both doing better with white voters than they were before as well, although not to the same degree that they've improved with Hispanics.
A majority of Americans may support the bill but it could still end up working to Democrats' benefit this fall if most of the voters who care enough about it for it be a determining factor in how they vote- or whether they vote- go in their direction.
And I'll be real interested to see our next polls in New Mexico and Nevada where we found Democratic candidates under performing with Hispanics when we did surveys there during the winter.