GOP strategist: Trump will be anchor around Republicans' necks in general election

GOP strategist: Trump will be anchor around Republicans' necks in general election

GOP strategist Mike Murphy on Sunday said Republican candidates running pro-Trump platforms in this year's primaries will find the president is an "anchor around [their] neck" during the general elections. 

"Now you come out ... from the 'Trump church' in the Republican primary with a big Trump halo. But in the general election, Democrats all hate Trump and among independents he’s mostly upside-down," Murphy said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"So what is your magic light sword in the primary becomes an anchor around your neck in the general," he continued.

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Republican candidates across the country are attempting to appeal to Trump supporters by seeking to closely align themselves with the president and his agenda.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), whose campaign promoted Trump's hard-line immigration policies, won the Republican nomination for governor in late July. He won late endorsements from President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE and Vice President Pence.

Still, losses from other Trump-backed candidates like Pennsylvania Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone, and Alabama Republicans Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE and Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreAlabama GOP senate candidate says 'homosexual activities' have ruined TV, country's moral core The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid MORE, suggest that platforms that align with the president and his policies aren't fail-proof.

Murphy said he is wary of a strategy in which Republicans seek to tie themselves to the president, but noted Republican politics are now "all Trump all the time."

"It’s like the Stalin trials now," he said, seemingly referring to the Moscow trials against opponents of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. "If you wore the collectivist tie, you're out of order." 

"It is the new reality of the Republican primary," Murphy said.

While Trump has record approval ratings among Republicans, his approval rating overall has wavered since taking office, according to Gallup polling data