GOP has mixed feelings over loss in Alabama's U.S. Senate race

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore leaves the stage after speaking at the RSA activity center, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. Moore did not concede defeat to his Democratic opponent Doug Jones. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Weary national Republicans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday, a day after voters knocked out their own party's scandal-plagued candidate in deep-red Alabama. Yet all is not well in a party confronted with new rounds of infighting and a suddenly shrinking Senate majority heading into next year's midterm elections.

A semi-humbled President Donald Trump conceded that Roy Moore's loss was not his preferred outcome. He said he "would have liked to have had the seat" and an important Senate vote as he and GOP lawmakers scratch for legislative victories.

But he also acknowledged, "A lot of Republicans feel differently. They feel very happy about the way it turned out."

Indeed, it was easy to find establishment-minded Republicans - in and out of Washington - who cheered Moore's loss as the impact of the Alabama stunner echoed throughout the political world.