The former aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, has launched a last minute write-in campaign for Alabama’s tightly contested Senate seat. Retired Marine Col. Lee Busby, 60, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has launched a website and appeared on Fox News and MSNBC. Busby says he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 Republican primary and for Donald Trump in the general election, but insists that he is not involved with the official Republican Party apparatus. He said that he sees himself as a centrist-independent, and promises to fill the space between the Democrat and Republican nominees. Talking about his Republican opponent, Busby said he is unsure of the truthfulness of the allegations but believes Moore to be unqualified for the job.
As we approach election night, a recent Washington Post poll has Democrat Doug Jones leading the race by 4 points. Conversely, YouGov has a poll showing a slight 3 point lead for Republican nominee Roy Moore. Our most recent poll also shows a tight race. These polls reinforce the fact that this race is well within the margin of error, and a write-in candidate could tilt the race to either party.
CB Polling conducted an online Google Consumer Survey of Alabama residents from November 29th to December 1st. Among those surveyed, 620 declared their intention to vote , 71.52% of respondents indicated they would vote for Doug Jones (D) or Roy Moore (R), while 28.48% indicated they would consider voting for a write-in candidate. The margin of error is 3.6%.
Traditionally, write-in candidates have very limited success with some exceptions. In 2010, Lisa Murkowski won the Alaska Senatorial election making her the first US Senate candidate to win an election via write-in since Storm Thurmond in 1954. Busby has virtually no chance to win here, but some Republicans are showing support for him in hopes that he might siphon away enough votes to give Democrat Doug Jones the win in Alabama. On the other hand, President Trump has recently endorsed Roy Moore and will be campaigning for the controversial candidate in Florida, 25 miles away from the Alabama border, on Friday.
Country over Party pic.twitter.com/JZMTaEYdxQ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 5, 2017
Link to the accompanying press release here