Contrary to what Lawrence O'Donnell said last night, your vote IS important. You should vote for President Obama and you should not assume that you can safely vote third party. Ask New Jersey how voting third party worked out for them.
Voting for Obama will do several things:
1) Ensure a popular vote win. Don't underestimate the importance of a popular vote win in a divided political climate. According to Nate Silver, the popular vote estimate is 50.2 to 48.8 (plus or minus 3!!!). Those margins are too close for my comfort. In the event of the 269 to 269 EV nightmare scenario, the republican house gives it to Romney, citing Romney's popular vote win as a mandate. They would give Romney the presidency either way, but what you don't want to do is provide reasonable cover for why they did it.
2) lt shows republicans and the tea party that you fully reject their vision for this country
3) It shows that you fully reject their racism directed towards our president
4) It shows that you fully reject their attempts to control women
5) It shows that you fully reject their plan to turn medicare into a voucher system
6) It shows that you fully reject their efforts to suppress the vote!
7) By showing all of the above, you then give a much wiser President Obama a new mandate to do the things that we demanded of him during his first term. President Obama is fully aware of where he went wrong the first time, with trying to compromise with evil people. He knows he went wrong in not explaining what he was doing on our behalf. This time, he won't be reigned in by strategists who are worried about a second term.
Trust me, the third party candidates aren't perfect either. They are promising things that they'd never be able to deliver on. And of course their debate covered things not covered in the Obama/Rmoney debate, but we can only blame ourselves and the media for that.
Just to reiterate, a popular vote loss (or weak win) will send a mixed message and embolden the tea party. We must be clear in our rejection of the tea party. I can't tell you what to do, but I hope you'll at least think about it.