Reporting from Washington — Rep. Kendrick Meek, still running third in the three-way race for Florida's open Senate seat, is getting fresh support from national Democrats even as a report suggests he might drop his campaign.
Meek, a four-term congressman from south Florida, will join President Obama on Monday when he visits Miami for a fundraiser benefitting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tied to the visit, Meek's campaign released a new radio advertisement featuring the president, who calls him a "powerful voice for Floridians."
"If we work together, he will win," Obama says.
Vice President Biden, meanwhile, has attached his name to a fundraising solicitation, seeking $50,000 by Wednesday to make sure Meek "can fight attack ads and get Florida's Democrats to the polls." Next week, former President Bill Clinton will again join Meek for a campaign swing, this time in the critical Interstate 4 corridor of central Florida.
Op-ed columnist Stephen Moore, who founded the conservative Club for Growth, wrote in the Wall Street Journal's Political Diary that state Republican leaders were "fretting" over an alleged deal that would see Meek quit the race, leading Democrats to throw their support behind independent candidate Charlie Crist, the state's governor.
Speaking on MSNBC on Monday morning, Meek said the report couldn't be "further from the truth."
"I'm the only candidate amongst the two that's nominated by the people of the state of Florida," he said, differentiating himself from Crist. "And I'm the only candidate that has the third-party validators to come out in the last three weeks to say that I'm the right choice. I'm not running for second, I'm running to win."
Crist once led in some polling of the race but faded in recent months as Republicans coalesced behind Rubio, and independent support became more fragmented. The latest Mason Dixon poll showed Rubio leading with 42%, Crist at 27% and Meek at 21%.
On Obama's last visit to Florida, a fundraiser for state Democrats on Aug. 18, he added a stop with Meek at Jerry's Famous Deli in South Beach, ordering corned-beef sandwiches. Meek then was battling a self-financed candidate in the Democratic primary.