WASHINGTON — The defeat of GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in Alabama on Tuesday not only represents a sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump, but it also serves as a warning to other Republicans such as Josh Mandel of Ohio against fully embracing Trump and the arch-conservative voters who are among his key supporters, analysts say.

Mandel, who is seeking next year’s Republican nomination for the Senate, has campaigned as an ardent Trump supporter, backing the president’s call for a wall along the Mexican border and an end to sanctuary cities, in which local officials do not cooperate with federal officials in identifying illegal immigrants.

In the Ohio governor's race, all three Republicans have tried to attract Trump backers, with U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth making the most-obvious attempt to use the Trump model.

But Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning victory over Moore in the Alabama special election for the seat held for two decades by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has confirmed fears among some Republicans that attaching themselves too closely to Trump could cripple their hopes of holding the Senate and House next year.

Republicans say Moore’s loss had less to do with any overriding national revulsion against Trump than the deeply flawed candidacy of Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, including a 14-year-old, more than three decades ago when he was in his 30s.

"The message is very simple: People don’t vote for pedophiles," said Corry Bliss, who managed the 2016 re-election campaign of Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, suggested the party needs to take a close look at itself in the wake of the Alabama race, including trying to find candidates with values that "make sure they represent the party in a correct way."

"Last night, I think the good guy won," Rosenberger said. "When I say that, I think morals, integrity and values won out last night. I think that’s where our party is lacking, and we’ve got to figure out how to strengthen that."

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, who is heading the House GOP re-election campaign, said "candidates and campaigns matter. It wasn't just that Roy Moore was a flawed candidate. He ran a flawed campaign. He didn't talk to voters about what they cared about; he talked to voters about what he cared about."

But independent analysts dismiss such an explanation. Trump’s job-approval rating has tumbled nationally, and exit polls Tuesday showed that among those casting ballots, Trump's approval rating in deeply conservative Alabama was just 48 percent.

"I don’t think the general electorate is looking for Trump clones next year," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Danielle Vinson, a professor of political science and international affairs at Furman University in South Carolina, said if she were "a Republican running in Ohio, I'm staying up at night getting ulcers trying to figure out, 'What do I do?' Because I don't think you can fully embrace him.

"You might be able to win the Republican nomination, but I don't know that you'll win next year in Ohio if you embrace Trump," she said. "It just seems to me there are way too many college-educated women, there are minorities; there's a lot working against you if you decide to adopt that strategy next year."

Moore’s defeat also might have been a warning against Republicans relying on their House and Senate majorities to push through a massive tax cut that polls show is deeply unpopular with voters.

By doing so, Republicans would be emulating Democrats who brushed off an astonishing defeat in a special Senate election in Massachusetts in January 2010 in which the major issue was the party's plan to overhaul the health-care system. Democrats went on two months later to approve Obamacare, which helped lead to their loss of the House in that November's election.

"The most important thing we need to do is demonstrate results that help middle-class families, and the No. 1 way to do that is to cut middle-class taxes," Bliss said. "At the end of day, the tax bill will be very simple. Eight months from now, if people see their taxes are cut, they’ll like it. If they see their taxes increase, they won’t like it."

Yet a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday included an ominous warning: Fifty-five percent of American voters disapprove of the tax plan, compared with just 26 percent who support it. In addition, 43 percent would be less likely to support a candidate for the Senate or House who backs the bill.

"They’ve got to pass something," said James Ruvolo, former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. "Their problem is, they have a bad bill, but they have no accomplishments." ?this quote seems cuttable. Joe?

Mandel has gone so far as to mimic Trump’s pattern of making repeated accusations against his likely opponent that do not withstand scrutiny. This week, Mandel again repeated his claim that Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, air-dropped a tax break for private-jet owners into the tax bill, tweeting: "get used to seeing it for the next 11 months."

The drawback: Fact-checkers, including Cleveland.com, have debunked the claim.

"Trump won Ohio handily in 2016, but Ohio is still more moderate than Alabama," said Mark Caleb Smith, a professor of political science at Cedarville University. "So, for candidates to mimic Trump would have consequences in Ohio, I think."

"When you look at successful statewide candidates in Ohio, they are not marked by outlandish behavior or pervasive showmanship," Smith said. "They are steady, reliable, and can point to a track record."

Publicly, Republicans are fuming at the arch conservatives headed by former White House adviser Steve Bannon who backed Moore in a state primary even though polls showed he would be a weak candidate in the general election.?

They point out that conservative candidates defeated more established Republicans in five key state primaries in 2010 and 2012. But they were far too conservative for the general election and Democrats won all five races: Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada and Delaware.?

Jeff Sadosky, a former Portman adviser, said Bannon and other arch-conservatives "will try to shirk any responsibility for yet another blown election" with Moore. But Sadosky said "instead of talking about a near filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Republicans are barely holding on to a one-seat advantage."?

Jack Torry and Jessica Wehrman are reporters with the Columbus Dispatch. Dispatch Reporters Jim Siegel and Marty Schladen contributed to this story.