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Somos Republicans opposed Senate Bill 1070. Some said it would lead to racial profiling of Hispanic citizens. Even so, she said, she doubted Mr. McCain’s support for the measure would cost him votes among the state’s Hispanic Republicans.

“McCain, even though he said what he said, he’s still 10,000 times better than Hayworth,” said Ms. Blase. “He hurt us, but we’ll hold our nose and vote for him.”

Meanwhile, the Hayworth campaign is running at least two YouTube videos splicing Mr. McCain’s previous televised remarks opposing a border fence with his current tough talk on immigration.

“One senator. One man. So many different positions,” Mr. Hayworth says in a video released last week. “What a difference a campaign makes.”

The Hayworth campaign is confident that the challenger’s poll numbers will rise once his television ads air, slated for early summer. The primary election is Aug. 24.

“Sen. McCain has spent $2.5 million on TV ads attacking J.D. Hayworth, whereas we haven’t spent a penny,” said Mr. Sanders. “These numbers are going to change once we go on TV.”

He also dismissed the impact of Mr. McCain’s immigration migration, saying most Arizona voters won’t be fooled.

“It’s gone from skepticism to cynicism in the minds of the voters, and it’s hurt him,” said Mr. Sanders. “Voters are smart. They know when they’re being pandered to.”