From now until election day, Wonkblog will be interviewing voters from swing states about how they’re thinking about the election. We will be interviewing both decided and undecided voters from both parties. We thank the Washington Post/ABC News poll for putting us in touch with these voters. You can see the rest of the interviews here.
Bernard Singleton, 57, is a retired voter living in Virginia. He's a Democrat who voted for Obama last time around and is voting for him again. But he's also not at all optimistic that Obama can change much. Here's how he's thinking about the election:
So how do you look at Obama's past four years? Are you satisfied? Disappointed?
Everything was messed up when he got in, he had a whole lot of work to do. But he can’t do any more than what the Senate would let him do. If he puts a bill in and they veto it, he still can’t do it.
Do you think it's going to be the same if Obama's re-elected?
I think it will be the same no matter who's elected!
And what do you think of Romney?
I don't know much about him. I just always vote Democratic.
Is there anything Romney could say to sway your mind?
What do you see as the important issues in this election?
Wages. Everything's going up but wages. The minimum wage hasn't moved. Wages are standing in one spot. Everything else is going up. It's hard for people to make it like that.
And could the next president affect that?
Hard to say.
Does it make a big difference who gets elected?
Not really. They're going to do what they’re going to do when they get in anyway.
Did Obama winning the last election make a big difference?
I ain’t seen that much difference. Some things he did helped people, some things hurt.
Any good examples?
A lot of things that hurt people. People that work, when they work all week, they go pay one or two bills, and they still don’t have money. The minimum wage is still low, everything else is skyrocketing. There's no money to pay nobody. A lot of people are hurting.
What about Obamacare, the health care law? Could that make a difference?
Yeah. I don’t even have insurance. I need to find insurance now.
Do you think Obamacare could help with that?
It might. It should anyway.
Is the fact that Romney has said he wants to repeal Obamacare a factor in your decision at all?
Nope, I’m still going to vote the same way. Anything he says, nothing can change the way I vote.