March 24, 2018
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Planned Lisbon appearance would be Trump’s fifth visit to Maine

Micky Bedell | BDN
Micky Bedell | BDN
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to a crowd on Oct. 15 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

LISBON, Maine — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has announced that he will visit Lisbon on Friday, marking his fifth trip to Maine in hopes of securing one of the state’s electoral votes.

According to Trump’s website, Trump will host a rally beginning at 3 p.m. at the Open Door Christian Academy Gymnasium at 26 Gartley St.

Trump has already visited Maine four times during the current election cycle, including two trips to Portland and two to Bangor. The most recent visit was on Oct. 15 in Bangor.

As national polling has Trump in extreme danger of losing the presidential race, he is clamoring for every advantage he can secure. That includes the single electoral vote he would win if he bests Democrat Hillary Clinton in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

Clinton is seen as the favorite to win three electoral votes, one for the 1st District and two for capturing the most votes statewide. She has not visited the state in more than a year, but has sent surrogates, including her daughter, Chelsea.

In addition to personal visits, Trump has dispatched surrogates and his children to Maine on several occasions, including on Tuesday when his son Donald Trump Jr. hit three locations near Lewiston.

Lisbon lies at the very edge of the 2nd District and adjacent Lewiston, the largest city in the district. Lewiston has long been a bellwether for the 2nd District and a virtual must-win for statewide candidates seeking a victory in western, central and northern Maine.

Lisbon is represented by Republican Sen. Garrett Mason, the Senate majority leader, who is seeking re-election. Mason, who supported Ted Cruz for president in the Republican primary, has since endorsed Donald Trump.

Mason said the Trump campaign reached out to him and others recently to find a location that is close to Brunswick Executive Airport, where Trump is presumably landing.

“I think the fact that Trump is coming to Maine just proves that this election is not over,” said Mason. “If Maine is on the map, there are going to be a lot of other places on the map as well.”

Mason said anyone who wants to win the 2nd District has to perform well in Androscoggin County.

“Androscoggin County is very important to any 2nd District election,” said Mason. “Just ask Bruce Poliquin and Emily Cain. Lisbon is a very blue-collar town, a former mill town. … It’s very blue-collar, just like the other places where Trump is leading.”

Mason said Trump is likely to win the 2nd District because of turnout he expects to be generated by referendum Question 3, which seeks to implement background checks for private gun sales. Mason said he has not yet been approached to make a speech at the rally but will be communicating with organizers Wednesday evening.

Friday’s venue is a vast departure from the larger venues Trump has visited in the past, such as downtown Portland’s Merrill Auditorium and Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center. Open Door Christian Academy is a private, nonprofit Christian school founded in 2001 as a ministry of Open Door Bible Baptist Church. A woman who answered the phone at the school Wednesday afternoon said she was unsure if classes will be in session on Friday and declined to answer further questions.

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