In the coming days there's going to be lots of Republican moaning about "what did McCain did wrong." Bah, don't be so eager to trash McCain and give Obama some credit where it's due.
Obama killed voter turnout with a political machine that was battle tested through the combative Democratic primary. He's a doctrinaire liberal, but didn't run on divisive issues. He didn't touch immigration, gay marriage or abortion. Obama on a referendum against an unpopular Republican administration on two things: the economy and the war. And, to top it off he had an incredibly compelling life-story, charismatic demeanor and inspiring, yet incredibly tightly-controlled, message.
These things don't even take into account the media's liberal bias and complete inability to discuss Obama's radical connections out of fear it would be too "racist." On this front, his race probably helped him win.
That kind of stuff will win ya the election.