TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Not all Republicans have abandoned Gov. Charlie Crist in his independent bid for the U.S. Senate.

The 1996 Republican nominee for president, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, phoned Crist on his campaign bus Friday to give him some encouragement in the final days of the three-way race.

Dole, who has been hospitalized recently in Washington, told The Associated Press he was 100 percent behind Crist’s candidacy.

Crist, who drew the wrath of the state Republican Party when he left it in April, trails Republican nominee Marco Rubio in the polls going into Tuesday’s election. The polls show Democrat Kendrick Meek far back in third place.

Crist made several stops in the Panhandle on Friday before flying to Orlando.