Shelby: Trump won't be the difference for Moore in Alabama election

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE (R-Ala.) said Sunday he doesn't believe President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE's late push to back Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore will be the difference in Tuesday's special election.

“I think Roy Moore has his own following regardless of whether the president’s involved or others. I don’t know what’s going to happen Tuesday. It depends on the turnout, and go from there," Shelby said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” when asked if it would be fair to credit Trump for a Moore win.

"But I do believe, and I’m going to say it again, the Republicans could do better," he added.

Trump last week issued a full endorsement for the Republican candidate, whom multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct while they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s. On Saturday, Trump urged attendees at a rally in Pensacola, Fla., to vote for Moore, arguing Democratic candidate Doug Jones won't support the Republican agenda.


Numerous Republicans have called on Moore to step aside in the race.

Shelby said late last month that he didn't vote for Moore, but instead wrote in a "distinguished Republican."

He reiterated on Sunday that he'd rather see a Republican win in Tuesday's race, but that he couldn't vote for Moore.

If Moore wins, Shelby said, the Senate will have to weigh his "fitness to serve."

"The state of Alabama deserves better," Shelby said. "I think we’ve got a lot of great Republicans that could’ve won and carried the state beautifully and served honorably."

A Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Moore with a nearly 4 point lead over Jones heading into the final days of the campaign.

--This report was updated at 12:37  p.m.