Election Night 2012: What Results Mean

ABC's political analyst Matt Dowd explains why Barack Obama won re-election.
3:00 | 11/07/12

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Transcript for Election Night 2012: What Results Mean
This race for the White House has been so close and so hotly contested only yesterday the polls show the candidates in the dead heat so. What tipped the scales in president Obama's favor. -- BC's political consultant Matt Dowd joins me now to explain it all to us. Matt why did Barack Obama win this election who voted for. Well I think that the interesting thing about this race -- -- -- take a look at it over sort of time period and six months is this race was always had a slight slight advantage for the president. And I think Mitt Romney was ahead in the popular vote and then we have hurricane sandy. That happened and I think he took -- lead in the aftermath of that. But I think if you take a really look at this election is the president's approval rating is sort of sort of gained -- being ground over the last three months. And that approval rating -- Election Day 51%. When you have the present and -- approval rating at 51%. They are almost always reelected -- other thing is the right direction number in this country. Increased by 25 points over the last six months as we went into Election Day and what -- -- and made a much better ground for the president to operate under. But fundamentally. He ran a campaign that targeted. A certain states and certain groups and got them out on Election Day and when he did that on Election Day that's how -- -- OK so who was it was. It was minorities and -- and that of changing nature of the countries -- minorities now represented non whites represent the largest share they've ever represented an election in our history minorities -- it was single women. It was younger voters -- it was a coalition of those folks he lost white voters in this election he lost white males that worse than any president has lost white males. All those things. He's lost Republicans but he put together that coalition of folks that is a growing coalition you want Asian voters. And that coalition put him over the top listen to me earlier tonight that George Bush is explains -- late George Bush's voters. Had voted that this is that's what's interesting about what's going on in this country and what's happening in this country is the changes we're having the different demography if you took George Bush in 2004 when he won by three points when the Electoral College. And had him run this year and got the same percentages among those groups he would've lost this race and that tells you about the country. So six billion dollars spent in this campaign and yet look at the results in the senate -- still have a Democrat controlled senate. But here's what did the result of the six billion dollars to lots of time lots of effort. Barack Obama is reelected close race but he's reelected the senate -- -- can have more Democrats -- Republicans when everybody thought the Republicans had a chance to take over the senate. And there -- -- Republican House is going to be almost exactly the same. And so what you learn about this is people are forced -- two choices they're -- have to choose between two separate parties not always satisfactory choices that people had. But that's a choice they have and what happens is -- people put on jerseys and it doesn't matter what the name on -- back as it -- the color of their Jersey. And once they have that color of the country divide you know -- where the president say tonight in his. Speech that he'd learned something from this election and he wants to reach across the he wants to govern the entire country wants to bring us together. Any chance of that well I think there's a chance to be really does that I said earlier tonight in the evening and -- election unfolded at that. He should go back and redo what he said he was gonna -- four years ago when all of all of the things that many of us thought he was going to do which is bring the country. United protection became more polarized he can do it but -- can't believe that this is a speech tonight I think within days -- today. -- to go off back to congress and say listen I'm all the work if you that's -- you have to do this for the sake of the country whose words were good. But I think its actions -- -- the only way to make it half of Republicans. To meet him halfway I think he's the only person -- can force them to do it is him and I think he really pushes on. There in a desperate state Republican parties in a desperate situation today. They do not match the country anymore they can't win -- lose Latinos they can't lose they -- they can't lose young women they can't lose women as a whole and still be a majority party -- And thirty seconds what did we learn about America. We -- we're extremely divided country. We're divided -- young vs old were divided male person's name or guide people to go to church every Sunday that people that -- Provided minority vs white and that divide. We have to figure out some way to bring it together insolvent that's what I think -- -- -- that we're incredibly divided country that needs to come together. And it happened I think it can happen but it's incumbent I had recommended some sort of Camp David peace conference -- amongst ourselves we're gonna have to solve the divided -- on the huge problems that face us. That as the only suspect -- to what a night you've had a long and night it's a sign that Iowa thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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