Top Obama backer hosts fundraiser for Crist's independent bid

Florida Democrat Freddy Balsera, who led President Obama's outreach to Hispanic voters during the 2008 campaign, is aiding Gov. Charlie Crist's independent Senate bid. 

Balsera hosted a fundraiser for Crist on Monday at a steakhouse in Coral Gables, Fla. His name appeared atop an invitation sent out by the Crist campaign. According to the invite, the minimum to attend was $500 per person. 

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Crist has been wooing Democratic donors to his independent campaign, even with the presence of Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) in the race. 

The White House is backing Meek, and despite persistent stories over Obama's level of involvement in Meek's campaign, the congressman received some noteworthy attention from the president during his trip to Miami last week. 

Meek is favored in Tuesday's Democratic primary against self-funder Jeff Greene. If Meek gets the nomination, he faces a three-way race with Crist and Republican Marco Rubio. 

The concern among some Democrats is that Crist and Meek could split the Democratic vote in November, paving a path to the Senate for Rubio. 

A new Public Policy poll out Tuesday shows Rubio would start that race in the lead. In a three-way contest, Rubio is polling at 40 percent to Crist's 32 percent. Meek is in third place with just 17 percent of the vote.