Dem pollster Penn to host funder for Crist

Democratic pollster Mark Penn is hosting a fundraiser this week for Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-Independent governor running against Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek for one of Florida's Senate seats. 

Penn's fundraiser is the latest piece of evidence that suggests Democrats are hedging their bets in the Florida Senate race. 

Meek trails real estate mogul Jeff Greene (D) in recent polls and may not make it through the Aug. 24 primary. And if Meek does, he faces an uphill battle against Republican Marco Rubio and Crist.  

The Democrats' contingency plan seems to be to convince Crist to caucus with them if he wins the general.

Crist supported President Obama's stimulus plan, which led conservative Republicans to break with him in Florida. He decided to run as an Independent after it became clear he would not beat Rubio in the GOP primary.

According to an invitation to the fundraiser, Crist and his wife, Nancy Jacobson, will host the event at their Georgetown home on Wednesday. Penn was a top adviser for the campaign of Hillary Clinton, whom Meek supported in 2008.

The invitation, obtained by the St. Petersburg Times, notes individuals may contribute $4,800. Valet parking is included.

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