06/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

DNC Welcomes Crist Running as Independent

As the deadline nears for Florida Governor Charlie Crist to announce whether he'll leave the Republican party and run as an Independent for a Florida Senate seat in the November election, the Democrats are rushing to use Crist's switch to their advantage.

Speaking yesterday at The Monitor Breakfast in Washington, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine sees Crist's move to Independent as a boon for the Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek. "If Gov. Crist announces that he's running as an independent, the individual who is probably going to be happiest is going to be Congressman Meek."

If Crist declares as an Independent in Florida's U.S. Senate election, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, becomes the state's Republican frontrunner. Polls show a tight race, and Crist's switch to Independent could help him win over Democrats and moderate Republicans.

The DNC's Kaine, however, sees the advantage going to Meek. "That is going to be a huge plus for his campaign. Already a proven elected office holder and candidate running a good campaign, but that is going to be enormously helpful to him."

Watch DNC Chair Tim Kaine at The Monitor Breakfast on, April 28, 2010:

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