Published: Oct 29, 2010 9:48 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 29, 2010 6:48 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - At least one prominent Republican is still behind Charlie Crist's Senate bid: Bob Dole.

The 1996 Republican nominee for president phoned Crist on his campaign bus Friday to give him some encouragement in the final days of the three-way race.

Dole has been hospitalized recently in Washington. But the former Kansas senator and majority leader told The Associated Press he was 100 percent behind Crist's candidacy.

Crist drew the wrath of the state Republican Party when he left it in April. He 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.