Demographics did not determine last night's outcome. Old fashioned political organizing (or lack thereof) did. Republicans have only themselves to blame for last night's loss.
The sleeper story of last night's loss is that Mitt Romney won the middle but lost conservatives. Republicans failed to turn out their own. I don't feel that the Romney camp necessarily pursued the wrong message or the wrong strategy. But it seems that they did not attend to the nuts and bolts of the ground game.
I asked a statistics guru why Romney lost last night. He says that the simplest answer is turnout. It appears that Romney had 2.5 million votes less than John McCain in 2008. If Romney had simply replicated McCain's turnout of 59 million, he may have won Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado, where he lost by about 100,000 votes. Romney even won independents by 4 points, where McCain lost them by 8. Obama's turnout dropped 10 million votes from 2008. If Romney had modestly improved on McCain's performance four years ago, he would have won the popular vote. Instead, it looks like Obama will win with about 60 million.
Republicans should have been more energized this cycle than four year ago, as the polls and anecdotal stories seemed to suggest. Hard as it is to believe, McCain (perhaps it was Sarah Palin?) did a better job bringing out Republican voters than Romney. It seems that the measures of voter intensity were either mistaken or are just no longer reliable predictors of turnout. As a result, one of the primary tasks for Republican party leaders for the next four years is rebuild the ground game that served George W. Bush so well in 2000 and 2004.