Republican congressional candidate Dale Crafts, seated, and Donald Trump Jr. attend a recent rally in Auburn last month. Steve Collins/Sun Journal file photo

Congressional hopeful Dale Crafts said Monday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if President Donald Trump “shows up here” in Maine’s 2nd District.

Crafts, a Lisbon Republican, spoke with Trump recently — the second time the president has phoned him — and is amazed at what he sees as the “total optimism” that animates the nation’s leader.

“He loves Maine,” Crafts said, and expects to win in the Pine Tree State on his way to reelection Nov. 3.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Crafts “will be a tremendous Congressman for Maine!”

It marked the second time the president has endorsed Crafts, who is taking on incumbent U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a first-term Lewiston Democrat, in what has so far been a low-key contest.

Crafts said he suspects Trump will carry the 2nd District by at least as big a margin as he did in 2016.

Trump won the district by a 10-point margin four years ago, but polls show a much closer race this time around. Crafts said, though, that he doubts the polls truly capture the affection many in the area have for Trump, including a lot of disaffected Democrats he’s spoken with.

“I think people are going to be surprised,” Crafts said.

Democrats said they think they have a good shot at winning all four of Maine’s electoral votes this year. Two are awarded to the statewide winner and one is given to the presidential candidate who wins in each congressional district.

Trump visited Maine a handful of times during his successful campaign four years ago, but has not returned during this year’s race. In one of the 2016 rallies, shortly before the election, Trump spoke at the Open Door Bible Baptist Church in Lisbon, a church that Crafts said he helped to found just a couple miles from his home.

Crafts said he feels lucky to have had the chance to chat on the phone directly with the president twice during the campaign.

“It’s very cool,” he said, adding that Trump “loves to talk.”


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