Steve Schmidt Net Worth, Politics, Campaigns, and Controversies

Steve Schmidt net worth, has made a name for himself in American politics as a prominent Republican strategist and media figure. He first stepped into the political arena working on Republican campaigns in the 1990s and eventually rose to manage high-profile presidential bids. Schmidt has been a controversial figure, switching party affiliations and becoming an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump. Outside of politics, he has built a career as a media consultant and TV personality. So how much is Steve Schmidt worth with his varied career background?

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Steve Schmidt’s Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born on September 28, 1970 in Plainfield, New Jersey, Steve Schmidt developed an interest in politics from a young age. He volunteered on Republican political campaigns as a teenager before studying political science at the University of Delaware.

After graduating in 1992, Schmidt moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a full-time career in politics. He worked as a staff assistant for Congressman John E. Porter while earning a master’s degree in public policy from George Washington University.


NameStephen Edward Schmidt
NicknameSteve Schmidt
Birthday28 September 1970
Weight250 lbs
PartnerAngela Schmidt (divorced)
KidsThree kids
SiblingsOne sister
ProfessionPublic affairs strategist and communication expert
Net Worth$50 million

Working on High-Profile Republican Campaigns

Schmidt’s political career took off when he joined the National Republican Congressional Committee in 1994. The following year, he worked on Senator John McCain’s reelection campaign. This marked the beginning of a long professional relationship between Schmidt and McCain.

In 1998, Schmidt left the Hill to join the public relations firm Edelman. It was a short stint, as he soon transitioned back to politics working for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He then spent time working with the Bush Cheney Presidential Transition Team.

Managing George W. Bush’s Campaign

In 2000, Schmidt joined President George W. Bush’s election team as a spokesman. He helped handle media and communications for the 2004 reelection campaign.

As a key strategist, Schmidt was part of the team that got Bush reelected. This high-profile job thrust him further into the limelight.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Campaign

After working in the White House, Schmidt moved to California in 2006 to be a strategic adviser for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He contributed to Schwarzenegger’s successful 2006 re-election campaign in California.

John McCain Presidential Campaign Manager

Schmidt returned to national politics when John McCain tapped him to manage his 2008 presidential bid. As campaign manager, Schmidt guided major strategies and handled media relations.

Under Schmidt’s leadership, McCain’s campaign was described as aggressive, disciplined, and willing to take risks. He was credited with using creative strategies to manipulate media coverage to McCain’s advantage. Despite losing the election to Barack Obama, Schmidt’s work on the high-profile campaign significantly raised his professional profile.

Controversy, Criticism, and Party Switching

As Schmidt took on more prominent roles in major Republican campaigns, he also faced greater scrutiny and criticism. In 2008, Schmidt came under fire for his part in approving an expensive wardrobe budget for vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

After the 2008 presidential election, Schmidt provided commentary on politics for MSNBC and critical statements about the GOP. He also announced he was leaving the Republican Party in 2018 after three decades and became an Independent.

In 2020, Schmidt took his criticism of the GOP further by co-founding The Lincoln Project, a political action committee working to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump. He also officially registered as a Democrat in December 2020.

Vocal Critic of Donald Trump and the GOP

Schmidt has become a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, frequently slamming him in public statements and media appearances. He has condemned Trump’s election denial and warned of violence from his supporters.

In interviews, Schmidt has stated bluntly that “the Republican party is an organized conspiracy for the maintenance of power for the self-interest of Donald Trump and his family and the self-interest of the donor class.”

Support for Impeachment and Biden

Schmidt’s disillusionment with the GOP led to him supporting Trump’s impeachment after the January 6 Capitol riot. He also endorsed President Joe Biden during the 2020 election.

His outspoken attacks on Trump and Republican officials who enabled him have permanently burned bridges within the party he worked for decades ago.

Steve Schmidt Net Worth

So after a lengthy political career working on major Republican campaigns and now as an independent media figure, what is Steve Schmidt’s net worth?

There are varying estimates of Steve Schmidt’s net worth:

$4 million according to online estimates

$10 million reported by outlets like CelebrityNetWorth

Given his decades earning salaries on high-profile political campaigns and work as a media consultant, a net worth of around $5-10 million is reasonable.

Aside from politics, Schmidt has earned income through:

  • TV punditry on MSNBC and NBC
  • Serving as a communications and public affairs strategist
  • Co-founding media strategies company SES Strategies
  • Book deal for his memoir Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines

As Schmidt continues to appear on TV and write political commentary, his net worth will likely grow. But his once promising GOP political career is likely over, given his permanent exile from the party.

Facts on Steve Schmidt’s Background

In summary, here are some key facts on Steve Schmidt’s professional background and political stances:

  • Long history in Republican politics, working on campaigns since the 1990s
  • Managed winning campaigns for President George W. Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Served as senior campaign strategist and manager for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid
  • Faced controversy over Sarah Palin wardrobe expenses on McCain campaign
  • Switched party affiliation from Republican to Independent in 2018
  • Became an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and the GOP
  • Co-founded anti-Trump political action committee The Lincoln Project
  • Officially registered as a Democrat in December 2020
  • Condemned Trump’s election denialism and warned of violence from supporters
  • Supports Trump’s impeachment and endorsed President Joe Biden


Steve Schmidt has gone on quite a political journey from Republican insider to anti-Trump critic. After decades in GOP politics, he has become disenfranchised with the party’s direction.

With an estimated net worth of around $5-10 million, Schmidt has had a successful career in politics and media. But his stances against Trump have made him a controversial figure, burning bridges with Republicans.

As Schmidt continues his media career, he seems intent on keeping up his vocal criticism of the GOP. His political campaigns of the past appear to be firmly behind him as he charts a new independent course commenting on the current state of politics.

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