In a head to head match up Attorney General Cuccinelli and McAuliffe- who lost a primary bid for governor in 2009 - each garnering 38 percent from registered voters who took part in the poll.
When Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling - who dropped out of the GOP race in November and has said he will announce whether he will run as an independent March 14 - the race between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe is still a statistical tie.
In tha scenario 34 percent of respondents went with McAuliffe to Cuccinelli's 31 percent and Bolling's 13 percent.
This varied little from a Jan. 9 Quinnipiac poll where McAuliffe and Cuccinelli both got 34 percent compared to Bolling's 13 percent.
In the latest poll when Bolling was thrown into the mix he pulled 10 percent of Republican voters away from Cuccinelli compared to 5 percent from McAuliffe.
“Bolling probably has the greatest growth potential of the candidates but he also has the farthest to go to become a major contender," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown. "At this point – although it certainly could change – the data indicates that Bolling’s GOP critics who say he can’t win as an independent but might tilt the result to McAuliffe could be on to something,”
Brown said all three suffer from little public attention given at this point to the election that is still more than eight months off. They also have low name recognition, he said.
“When asked about the candidates, most voters don’t know enough about Terry McAuliffe or Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to have an opinion and barely half know enough about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to form an opinion," Brown said. "This despite the fact that Bolling and Cuccinelli have been elected to statewide office and McAuliffe ran for governor four years ago.”
Respondents were almost evenly split over the question as to whether Cuccinelli should give up his position as attorney general as he runs for governor 44-43 percent. It has become standard practice in the modern era for attorney general's to relinquish the post as Gov. Bob McDonnell did in 2009 when they run for governor. Democrats have repeatedly called on Cuccinelli to resign.
McDonnell got a 53 to 28 percent approval rating as he starts the last year in the executive mansion. While McDonnell still garners positive marks it his lowest showing since his 62 percent high in Oct. 2011.
The General Assembly did not fair as well as the governor coming in with a 46 percent to 38 percent disapproval rating.
The poll was conducted with live telephone calls to 1,112 registered voters in Virginia between Feb. 14 an 18. The poll has a plus or minus 2.9 percentage points margin of error.