PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona stands out in the Southwest.
Most of its neighbors are independent-minded states that once leaned Republican but are trending Democratic, partly because of increasing numbers of Hispanic voters alienated from the GOP by its tough stance on illegal immigration.
But not Arizona.
Nowhere is a harder line taken on immigration than in Arizona. Republicans there have a lock on statewide offices and dominate the legislature. Democrats picked up a congressional seat in November, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney easily won the state with a slightly better margin against President Barack Obama than Arizona's own Sen. John McCain had in 2008.
That has advocates of tighter immigration restrictions pointing to Arizona as a model for how Republicans can maintain their tough stance on the issue and still win elections.