Analysis: Trump bets on Moore and suffers stinging defeat

Doug Jones is greeted by a supporter before speaking during an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. Jones has defeated Republican Roy Moore, a one-time GOP pariah who was embraced by the Republican Party and the president even after facing allegations of sexual impropriety. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rarely has a sitting president rallied behind such a scandal-plagued candidate the way Donald Trump did with Alabama's Roy Moore. And rarely has that bet failed so spectacularly.

Moore's defeat Tuesday in Alabama - as stalwart a Republican state as they come - left Trump unapologetic and his political allies shell-shocked. Trump had dug in on his support for Moore despite allegations the former judge engaged in sexual misconduct with teenagers when he was in his 30s, becoming one of the candidate's most ardent national supporters in the race's closing days.

Now, out of the wreckage of Moore's defeat to Democrat Doug Jones, Trump faces mounting questions about the limits of his own political capital. He'll head into his second year in office with one less Republican senator, narrowing a margin already so slim that it has so far left him unable to push major legislation through Congress.