Donald Trump accepts US Senate loss meted out to Roy Moore but takes swipe at fellow Republicans

Donald Trump accepts US Senate loss meted out to Roy Moore but takes swipe at fellow Republicans

Donald Trump accepts US Senate loss meted out to Roy Moore but takes swipe at fellow Republicans

Updated 14 December 2017, 16:05 AEDT

The US President says some Republicans are happy Roy Moore lost his bid for the US Senate, but the ramifications for the party are significant, writes Washington correspondent Zoe Daniel.

United States President Donald Trump says some Republicans are happy Roy Moore lost his bid for the US Senate, but the ramifications for the party are significant.

There was no barrage of aggressive tweets fired off in the early hours of this morning. Nor did he fly off the cuff and blame the media.

Instead, Mr Trump manned up and accepted the loss meted out to a man he so passionately championed for the Senate, especially late in the campaign.

He did take a swipe at his fellow Republicans though, suggesting some of them are happy with the result in last night's special election.

"A lot of Republicans feel differently, they're happy with the way it turned out but I would've thought — as the leader of the party I would've liked to of had the seat," Mr Trump said.

The evangelical Mr Moore's extreme right views were always a bridge too far for many moderate Republicans.

The sexual assault and misconduct allegations against the lifelong morality campaigner compounded their misgivings.

However, the practical realities of the loss are obvious.

The Republicans' slender majority in the Senate is now just one — even further challenging the Trump Administration.

It has already had a tough time navigating legislation through a divided Congress which is heavily influenced by people like John McCain and Jeff Flake voting their conscience and against party lines.

Republicans in the south say pundits should not extrapolate beyond the result itself.

They say the election was a referendum on Mr Moore, not Mr Trump.

Former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Marty Connors, still questions the truth of the allegations against Mr Moore, but says they undoubtedly created what was in effect a 30-point swing compared to the President's election margin.

"The truth is you can't withstand that kind of allegation even in a deeply red state and survive, the very fact that it was close is even amazing," he said.

"If anybody tells you this was a national referendum, they've got an agenda.

"I can assure you that if Donald Trump was running in Alabama today against any Democrat he'd still win by about 27.7 per cent.

"It's just the circumstances in this very bizarre situation and the accusations that apparently stuck, or at least added enough confusion where all of these suburban people either stayed at home or wrote in a candidate."

About 22,000 people wrote in the names of candidates that were not on the ballot.

Democratic strategists — including Beth Clayton — agree — and believe despite the loss, Mr Trump remains popular in the state.

"I think a lot of it was people who were just tired of Roy Moore's nonsense," she said.

"I mean, nationally they're trying to make it a referendum on the President.

"I don't think it's that at all — if you're looking for people who don't like the President don't come to Alabama."

Ms Clayton believes the outcome in what was in part a morality test has vindicated perceptions of Alabamians.

"I hope that this shows people that we're not all ignorant, we have a majority of the state now that's ready to say we're decent people and hopefully that's something that carries forward and helps change the way that people see Alabama."