Prop. 187 never died a legislative defeat; it was strangled in the courts. And every poll of which I’m aware suggests that it would win all over again today.
But the proposition did indeed have a pyrrhic aspect: For the couple of decades before the passage of Prop. 187, Hispanic support for GOP candidates in California ran between 30 and 40 percent. In the first election after the passage of 187–which, as Mark points out, Pete Wilson endorsed, thereby tying the measure to the California GOP–Hispanic support for the GOP fell below 20 percent. And in a jusrisdiction in which statewide candidates need both Anglo and Hispanic support in order to prosper, you can see why a lot of California Republicans wish Prop. 187 had never appeared on the ballot in the first place, let alone why they lack any enthusiasm for a replay.