Steve Schmidt warns 'kooks' will doom GOP in November: 'They have a lot of nutball candidates'
Steve Schmidt (MSNBC)

Steve Schmidt unloaded on the Republican Party, which he said has become populated with "kooks" and "nutballs."

The former GOP strategist, who quit the party in June over President Donald Trump, said those low-quality, fringe characters are boosting Democrats in states they haven't won in years.

"Let's start with Tennessee," Schmidt told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Phil Bredesen, we have a candidate who is well known, former governor, former mayor of Nashville, running against a Republican candidate (Rep. Marcia Blackburn, who) on the 1-10 kook scale clocks in at about 13.3, so no surprise he's ahead in that race."

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) holds a slight lead over GOP challenger Mike Braun in the Senate race in Indiana, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) leads Republican attorney general Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia.

"What you do see across the country as we head into the fall campaign, I think, is a rising wave that's going to repudiate Trumpism," Schmidt said. "I think this is a profoundly significant election. I think people in this country understand what's at stake. I think the majority opposes the tone, the meanness, the cruelty, the vileness, the corruption of it all before you get a single issue, and we're seeing that in the generic ballots."

"The Republicans fundamentally have a nut problem," he added. "You have a lot of nutball candidates."

Schmidt pointed to North Carolina, where Republican Mark Harris is running a close race against Democrat Dan McCready.

"Look at the race in North Carolina," Schmidt said. (McCready is) running against Commander Waterford from 'The Handmaid's Tale,' who is out on the campaign trail talking about the necessity of women submitting to their husbands. just extraordinary."

"So when you look at these races and you look at it through, for example, the corruption lane, you know, you put (Rep.) Duncan Hunter's seat, crooked Republican lane, we have the nut Republican lane, we have the weirdo Republican lane," he continued.

"Then we have your normal Republicans that are just swept up in the tide who have shown cowardice and complicity in the age of Trump, thus they've alienated all those college-educated, suburban Republican women," Schmidt added. So I think it is not good tidings headed into Election Day. Republicans on the Hill and Republican staff and lobbyists know what the writing on the wall is here, which is the die is cast for a big defeat come November."