Overwhelming majority of Trump supporters sees MS-13 as a threat to US: poll

Overwhelming majority of Trump supporters sees MS-13 as a threat to US: poll
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An overwhelming majority of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE's voters see MS-13 as a threat to the United States, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll

Eighty-five percent of Trump voters said they think the gang is a very serious or somewhat serious threat.

Around 50 percent told pollsters they fear for themselves or loved ones, despite the fact that most of the gang's victims are Central American immigrants, according to ProPublica

The poll reveals a wide partisan gap on the issue, with 32 percent of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden: Probably '10 to 15 percent' of Americans 'are just not very good people' Mattis's Trump broadside underscores military tensions Mark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president MORE's voters considering MS-13 a serious threat and 13 percent of them worrying about violence from the gang.


The new findings indicate Trump's campaign against MS-13 has successfully frightened his base, pollsters said. Eighty-seven percent of Trump voters told pollsters they want stricter immigration policies, while only 15 percent of Clinton voters said the same.

Despite Trump's inflammatory rhetoric that MS-13 members are "infesting" the U.S., the gang's membership has held steady at approximately 10,000 U.S. members for 10 years, according to ProPublica. 

A majority of immigrants from Central America are fleeting gang violence rather than participating in it, the news outlet added.

Law enforcement officials told The New York Times in March that the Trump administration's campaign against MS-13 is overblown, but Trump has continued to double down on assertions that the gang is an existential threat to everyday Americans.

He often points to the gang as rationale for his administration's hard-line immigration policies. Earlier this month, Trump falsely claimed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement "liberated" towns from MS-13 control. 

"The claim is sort of outrageous and rather difficult to support since no U.S. government or state government has identified a city over which we lost sovereignty or control," Fulton T. Armstrong, a research fellow at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University, told PolitiFact.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll interviewed 1,000 people between July 5-6. Its margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.