Originally Posted by laurelnyc
My vote doesn't matter much since I live in NY, which will go Dem regardless of my vote.
Always worth keeping in mind the rest of the "down-ticket" votes you have to cast on Election Day. Do you like or dislike your Congressperson, for example?
If, on the other hand, I lived in a swing state where my vote mattered, how should I make a decision about whether to vote when I believe both to be terrible choices?
The way I have done this in the past when I found both candidates equal to first approximation was to consider which issues mattered most to me, and then look to see which one had a better (less bad) agreement with me on those issues. It's easy to do this in the case of Obama and McCain, it seems to me -- they are quite different in their views on a number of important issues. For example, if pro-choice/pro-life considerations matter to you, there's an obvious one. Consider the president's authority to appoint federal judges.
If that doesn't matter so much to you, consider health care. One candidate wants to implement health care for all, the other wants to move away from it so radically that he's now talking about dismantling Medicare and Medicaid.
What about energy and the environment? One candidate prioritizes alternative sources of energy, the other prioritizes increased drilling for oil and gas.
What about tax policy? One candidate wants to do away with the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the other wants to make them permanent.