Byron, that analysis is very sound. There was no spectacular youth vote or black vote. What there was was a spectacular seven-million strong abandonment of the Republican candidate, less than half of whom switched to the Dem.
Whatever one feels about “compassionate conservatism”, Bush at least wrapped up his departures from orthodoxy into a reasonably coherent worldview. McCain never did. He had a biography but no platform. One can discern the thread connecting “No Child Left Behind” to Bush’s views on immigration -whereas it’s very difficult to connect the dots on McCain’s ragbag of enthusiasms, the offer to buy up everybody’s junk mortgages being only his most recent caprice.