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Herschel Walker just proved (again) what a massive risk he is for Republicans

(CNN) Herschel Walker is a walking gaffe machine.

Here's what the Georgia Republican Senate candidate said about climate change during a recent campaign event:

"Since we don't control the air, our good air decided to float over to China's bad air. So when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. Then -- now we got we to clean that back up."

This is, um, not how things work? All the "bad air" doesn't move en masse. And it certainly doesn't all move in a direct line from China to the United States where we, uh, clean it back up.

(Sidebar: A report issued by IQAir, a company that tracks global air quality, earlier this year showed that only 222 cities of the 6,475 analyzed met the World Health Organization's standards for air quality in 2021. That includes the US, where IQAir found that "air pollution exceeded WHO guidelines by 2 to 3 times.")

For Walker, who is running against Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, this nonsensical answer on climate change is in keeping with a number of self-created controversies he's faced recently.

There was the report that Walker claimed to be in law enforcement when he wasn't. And the public acknowledgment of having three children with women he was not married to. And his answer on gun control in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, mass school shooting. And the problems with his business record.

All of these incidents make clear what a massive gamble Republicans made when they lined up behind Walker's candidacy.

The bet was this: Sure, Walker is something of a wild card and, as a first-time candidate, might be rough around the edges. But he also was a star football player at the University of Georgia and a legend in the state. It also didn't hurt Walker's cause that Donald Trump was an early and strong supporter.

That gamble looks worse with each passing day. Walker is struggling mightily to adjust to the pace and scrutiny that comes with being a Senate nominee in one of the marquee races in the country this fall.

And voters are taking notice. A Quinnipiac University poll released end of June showed Warnock with a 54%-44% lead over Walker, and with more registered voters in Georgia viewing the Republican unfavorably than favorably.

The Point: Walker was always a major risk for Republicans to take in a seat considered essential to their hopes of winning back the Senate majority. But I'm not even sure the most cynical Republicans thought he would be this bad on the campaign trail.