Crist sets Thursday as Senate decision day

"I'd like to wrap it up," he told The Associated Press after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning.

Crist is expected to either switch to no party affiliation or drop out of the race entirely. National GOP leaders would prefer he take the latter route.

Either way, there doesn't appear to be a path to victory for Crist in the GOP primary with Marco Rubio. The former state House Speaker, who has become a darling of the Tea Party movement, has turned the primary on its head by starting off behind but turning that into a 30-point lead on Crist.

Polling shows that a three-way general election between Crist, Rubio and Democratic nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek would be much more competitive.

Crist technically has until Friday to decide whether to run as an Independent.