It was a hard-fought battle between two tough adversaries, but when all was said and done, Mike Pence emerged as the clear winner of Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, according to the Republican National Committee well before it started.
A blog posted on the party's website, which was presumably set to publish once the debate was over, declared that "the consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate."
It went on to say that the Indiana governor "made the most of his opportunity to debate Hillary's VP pick Tim Kaine."
Pence, the blog declared confidently, "perfectly shared Trump’s vision to make America great again and that message is resonating with Americans all across the country."
It probably won't come as a surprise to learn that a national political party would be poised to declare its nominee the winner of a debate irrespective of what actually transpires, but usually there's at least the illusion that the verdict was rendered after the debate has concluded.
The page was taken down not long after it started getting noticed by folks on Twitter, but we're going to go out on a limb and predict that GOP officials will have a similar take on their vice presidential nominee's performance later tonight as well.