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ABC first to tag Clinton

Bill Clinton may have taken the White House in a big win yesterday, but ABC won the prediction poll.

At 7:47 p.m., ABC called Clinton the winner, with NBC and CBS following about one minute later.

CNN brought up the rear, having been airing commercials when the nets made their big pronouncements.

The results from Ohio pushed the Arkansas Governor into the winner’s circle, but all the webs throughout the evening had been predicting that Clinton was going to achieve a near-sweep.

Actually, Ross Perot, who made his bow-out speech at 7:35 p.m., was the first to call Clinton the winner. And ABC, ever eager to be first, pointed out the fact.

All of the nets kept pushing voters in western states, especially California, to go out and vote despite their predictions.

The networks have been under steady pressure from western lawmakers to keep from predicting the election’s winner before polls closed here.

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