Democrat Jared Golden is projected to win reelection in Maine's 2nd Congressional District against Republican Dale Crafts

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  • First-term Dem. Rep. Jared Golden is projected to win against former state representative and Lisbon, Maine council member Dale Crafts in Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

  • Golden is a US Marine veteran who flipped the seat to Democratic control in 2018 while Crafts is a business owner and former state representative.
  • Maine's highly-watched 2nd District flipped from voting for former President Obama by 9 percentage points in 2012 to vote for President Trump by 10 points in 2016. 
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The candidates:

First-term Democratic Rep. Jared Golden is projected to win against former state representative Dale Crafts in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, Insider and Decision Desk HQ can report.

Golden is a former state legislator and US Marine veteran who defeated a Republican to flip the seat to Democratic control in the 2018 midterm elections.

He's a member of a group of politically moderate military and national security veterans elected to Congress in the 2018 midterms from districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016, along with Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and Rep. Max Rose of New York, among others. 

In addition to winning the seat back for Democrats, Golden was also the first member of the House elected with Maine's relatively new ranked-choice voting system for federal elections.

Crafts served in the Maine House of Representatives from 2008 to 2016, and is also a business owner. After becoming paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 1983, Crafts created a company called Mobility Plus, which works on innovating ways for people with disabilities to more easily drive.  

Crafts beat out State Senator Eric Brakey and Adrienne Bennett, a realtor who previously served as press secretary to former GOP Gov. Paul LePage, in Maine's July 14 primaries. 

A poll of the race between Golden and Crafts conducted by The New York Times and Siena College from September 11-16 showed Golden leading Crafts by 19 points, 56% to 37%, in the district. 

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The district: 

Maine's 2nd District, which occupies most of the state's geographical landmass, is heavily rural and working-class. It flipped from voting for former President Barack Obama by 9 percentage points in 2012 to vote for Trump by 10 points in 2016. 

Maine's 2nd District also plays an important role in the electoral college, and will receive a significant amount of attention in the presidential race.

Maine, along with Nebraska, allocates its electoral college votes proportionally, with two allocated based on the statewide results and each congressional district accounting for one electoral college vote.

The money race:

Golden, a talented fundraiser, has built up an impressive war chest and far outpaces Crafts, who only recently secured the nomination in mid-July.

Golden has raised over $4.6 million, spent $4.2 million, and has nearly half a million in cash on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Crafts has raised $1 million, spent a little over $842,000, and has around $165,000 in cash on hand.

What some of the experts said:  

The race between Golden and Crafts The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia rate it "likely Democratic."

In the electoral college, Maine's 2nd District is rated as a tossup by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato's Crystal Ball.,

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