|2004||2008||GOP decline||Votes lost|
I've added an extra column showing what each percentage decline translates to in absolute votes based on the aggregate data collected from state level exit polling (the vote gap is essentially double the amounts displayed in the last column, as the GOP's lost votes were converted into Democratic gains).
The headlines telling of how Obama won big among minorities aside, relative to Bush's performance in '04, McCain lost more white voters than he lost of all non-white voters combined. The GOP's fortunes hinge upon the electoral decisions of whites.
McCain's big drop among Hispanics is electorally less significant than a 1% decline in his support among whites would have been. Of course, he dropped three times that amount among whites. Yet the breathless media narrative is that while retaining the white vote, McCain's drop among minorities sealed Obama's victory.