How Obama Won: Election 2012 Breakdown

It was a history-making election where, blacks, Hispanics and single women made themselves heard.
3:00 | 11/07/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for How Obama Won: Election 2012 Breakdown
Well, as the happy obama family flew back to washington today, a few conservative pundits observed that if only america had the same demographics as it did under ronald reagan, mitt romney would have won. Yes. And if jonie loves chachi was still in primetime, people wouldn't laugh at my parachute pants. The country is changing in waves. At last night taught us is that the party that knows how to ride those waves wins. Here's my co-anchor, terry moran. Reporter: America awakened to a new political reality this morning. What happened? I was wrong. Reporter: So were a lot of republicans. I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader. Thank you so much. Reporter: What happened yesterday's simple, really, and profound and reflected in all those faces in the crowds last night at obama and romney headquarters. The american electorate of tomorrow, younger, urban, more diverse, more socially liberal, turned out to defeat the american electorate of yesterday, older, whiter, more rural and traditional. I think it was shocking to the republicans. Reporter: Matt dowd, abc news consultant, was one of george w. Bush's chief strategists. I think the republicans are going to have to do a serious amount of soul searching. They've been built for 25 years ago, not for the 21st century. They have to appeal to latinos, women, blacks, and a whole group of other voters they've lost touch with. Reporter: The numbers tell the tale. Mitt romney actually w white voters by the biggest margin of any candidate since ronald reagan in 1984. But they are a shrinking portion of the vote. The obama coalition's growing by leaps and bounds. Latinos, for the first time, are now 10% of t electorate. Obama won their big time. More than twice as many unmarried women backed obama over romney, also a growing sector of the vote. And the president once again got huge support from young people. So, how will republicans react? Hey, any of you guys in there want to come sit in my chair today? Anybody? orter: A SHELL-SHOCKED Rush limbaugh offered one option. Contempt for obama supporters. They think that the only way they're going to have a chance for anything is if somebody comes along and takes from somebody else and gives it to them. Sanda claus. And it's hard to beat santa claus. Reporter: That old slander that americans who support obama are all somehow moochers and takers, it's become bedrock belief for more republicans. Mitt romney echoed it. 47% who are with them dependent upon government, they believe they are victims, who believe government has a responsibility who care for them, who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. Reporter: But already today, you heard republican voices acknowledging that the party needs to adapt. I think republicans have done a pathetic job of reaching out to people of color. Something we've got to work on. ♪ America ♪ Reporter: That effort has already begun, with a parade of next generation republican leaders at the party's convention. From florida senator marco rubio, the son of cuban immigrants -- we're special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, they come true here. The american dream isn't just my story. Reporter: To utah's mia love, who lost her race for congress last night. And ted cruz of texas, a tea party favorite who won his race for the senate -- can we retire president barack obama? Reporter: And who we talked to at the convention. People say, all the rising parts of the american popular are going democratic, minorities, young people, college educated, unmarried women. And you're actually shrinking the base. Well, you know, that story, every few years, that story gets written and yet somehow it doesn't quite seem to happen. Reporter: But this time, it did. And the challenges faced by republicans go well beyond finding a few attractive minority candidates. I think the change that republicans are going to have to go through is going to take years. It's not going to be one election or one year. Come to a combination of a candidate, their biography and the policies that all coincide together. orter: SO, CANDIDATES ARE Important, policies are important. But so is something else. Respect. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. Liar! Reporter: Again and again, over the past four years, some in the republican party used strikingly harsh language that it seems clear alienated many voters. You are not allowed to be president if you are not born in this country. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down. This man hates this country. If you don't deport them, how do you spend them home? The answer is self-deportation. This guy, I believe, is a racist. Reporter: For all the celebrating in chicago last night, president obama gets barely majority approval for his job performance. He's battered some, grayer and maybe wiser. But in the america of the 21st century, he getting something, he embodies something that more and more voters see as the country's destiny. It didn't matter if you are black or white or hispanic or

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

{"id":17669364,"title":"How Obama Won: Election 2012 Breakdown","duration":"3:00","description":"It was a history-making election where, blacks, Hispanics and single women made themselves heard.","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"Default"}