Republicans Worry About Florida as Crist Weighs Independent Senate Run

Some inside of Crist's own camp became convinced that the Florida governor had given up on winning the Republican primary when he crossed GOP leaders by vetoing a merit-pay bill which had passed the Florida legislature.

Although the GOP establishment is bracing for Crist to run as an independent, Republican officials are still hoping that the governor will forego a 2010 Senate race and begin laying the groundwork to run in 2012 when Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will be up for re-election.

The likely Democratic nominee for Senate in Florida, Rep. Kendrick Meek, is hoping that a three-person race will help him become more visible.

"The only thing that will change in our race if he does decide to run as an independent is accelerating the surfacing, the public surfacing of my candidacy," Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., told ABC News. "Then I will be included in all of the debates and I will be considered if you're going to pull the candidates together."

ABC News' Matt Loffman contributed to this report.

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