With the presidential election just weeks away, Pat McGuigan of CapitolBeatOK talks with New9′s Alex Cameron about the issues defining the battle between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama . Economic conditions establish the bottom line: 44 million Americans on food stamps, and 8.7 million on disability, $100 billion in value for business-related tax credits, and a $1 trillion annual increase in the national debt. There have been more months of unemployment during Barack Obama’s presidency than in all the months since 1948. Polls show the incumbent slightly ahead. "The stage is set for a very dramatic two months," McGuigan said. He believes issues such as government expansion into areas of religious liberty, illustrated in Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit against the president’s health care law will more impactful in October. McGuigan points to an analysis by Eric Boehm, a Pennsylvania journalist, observing, "At different times, we’re all one percent, or 47 percent" — paying taxes or not, benefitting from government programs, or not. Resolution of all these debates will decide the 2012 election. Turing to state politics, the veteran state capitol reporter points to issues that will move front and center as the 2013 legislative session nears: water, medicaid, tax cuts, veteran homes, education, capitol complex, pensions and more.