GOP Declares Victory Ahead of Debate, Deletes Story

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Mike Pence

In a since-deleted post on the RNC's website, Mike Pence was declared the "clear winner" of tonight's VP debate.

The Republican National Committee declared Mike Pence the "clear winner" of the vice-presidential debate hours before Tuesday night's showdown even began.

A blog post on the party's website, GOP.com, that was posted around 4 p.m. PT claimed victory for Donald Trump's running mate. 

"Americans from all across the country tuned in to watch the one and only Vice Presidential debate," the story read. "During the debate we helped fact check and monitor the conversation in real time @GOP. The consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate."

Offering a preview of what Pence will talk about, the story said his "top moments" from the debate were discussing the economy and "highlighting Hillary's scandals."

Shortly after it's accidental publish, the draft of tonight's story was deleted.

The post also declared the other night's winner to be Trump, as his "running mate perfectly shared Trump's vision to make America great again and that message is resonating with Americans all across the country."

At 6 p.m. PT, Pence and Clinton's running mate, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, will take center stage at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., as they battle in their first and only public forum before Election Day. The debate is being moderated by CBSN's Elaine Quijano.

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