The U.S. is as politically divided as it was going into the Civil War, ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd said Friday before President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE’s inauguration.
"I think we're obviously in unprecedented times with a lot of things that happened unexpectedly including election day for most people in the country," Dowd said on “Good Morning America.”
"I am struck by where the country is today, which, to me — it's much more akin to where we were in 1861 and how divided the country is."
Dowd, who served as chief strategist for President George W. Bush’s successful 2004 reelection campaign, said the pressure is on Trump to heal a polarized country.
"I think that the weight on Donald Trump today is how do you bridge or attempt to bridge some of those divides," Dowd said.
"There's many people that don't want — didn't want him, that don't expect him to, and there are many people that do want him that don't care or not. I remember George W. Bush felt that in the aftermath of his election, and he did everything he possibly could to try to unify the country."
A November Gallup poll showed 77 percent of Americans see the country as divided, a record-high.
The poll also showed 49 percent of respondents saying Trump will do more to divide the nation, while 45 percent said we will do more to unite.
Dowd was a Democrat until 1999 before switching to the Republican Party in 2000. In 2008, he declared himself an independent.
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