Poll: Hispanics Happy With Their Circumstances

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Most Hispanics (search) in the United States are optimistic about prospects for themselves and their children, says a poll.

A majority of Hispanics think they have some at least some say in the actions of the government, according to the CBS-New York Times poll. Only four in 10 non-Hispanics felt that way.

Almost two-thirds say they have experienced no discrimination in this country.

That suggests the Hispanic experience in this country is markedly different from that of non-Hispanic blacks. Almost three-fourths in that group say they have experienced discrimination.

Among Hispanics, three-fourths said they feel their opportunities are better than those faced by their parents, and they feel the opportunities for their children will be even brighter.

The optimism comes at a time that Hispanics are being courted by both political parties as a key swing vote in coming elections. Hispanics are now the nation's largest minority group, and are the nation's fastest growing minority.

Two-thirds of Hispanic immigrants (those born outside the United States or in Puerto Rico) say that economic opportunity is the number one way that life is better in this country than in the place they were born.

The poll found contrasts between Hispanics born in this country and those who were born elsewhere but immigrated here.

Of those born in the United States, almost half said that they speak mostly English at home and another four in 10 said they speak both English and Spanish. Of Hispanics born elsewhere, seven in 10 speak Spanish in the home and about a fourth speak Spanish and English at home.

Hispanics born in this country were most likely, four in five, to watch television and listen to the radio in English. Of those born elsewhere, more than half watched Spanish-language television and listened to Spanish-language radio. A fourth from that group tended to follow English-language broadcasts.

In other findings:

--A majority of Hispanics, 55 percent, said the men they know treat women as if men were better. Among non-Hispanics, a majority, or 58 percent, said the men they know treat women as equals.

--Eight in 10 Hispanics said that immigrants (search) tend to take jobs nobody else wants. A third of non-Hispanics said immigrants take jobs away from other Americans.

--Among Hispanics born outside this country, almost two-thirds say they feel closer to the United States than to the place of their birth.

The poll of 3,092 adults was conducted from July 13-27 and included 2,008 non-Hispanics and 1,078 Hispanics. The error margin for non-Hispanics was plus or minus 3 percentage points and 4 percentage points for Hispanics.