At this point, we all pretty much know thestrengths and liabilities of the GOP presidential candidates. The trick in the debates is for a candidate to showcase his strong points while putting his opponents on the defensive. You can tell a lot about how the debate is going by the topics being discussed. For example:

If the word “historian” comes up a lot, it’s a bad night for Newt Gingrich.

If “right to work” is the topic of a lot of talk, it’s problematic night for Rick Santorum.

If Jonathan Gruber (a health-care adviser to Mitt Romney and President Obama) gets mentioned a lot, it’s not a good night for Romney.

But if the candidates are spending endless time on “elite media” and the “war on religion,” Gingrich is happy.

If we hear a lot about defending free market capitalism, Romney is pleased.

If we hear a lot about Gingrich’s tenure as House speaker, both Romney and Santorum are happy.

And if the candidates repeatedly are exchanging barbs on fidelity to social conservative issues, then Santorum is in the driver’s seat.

Right Turn will be back after the debate with analysis and winners and losers.