In a two-way race, a new Quinnipiac poll has Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli deadlocked at 38 percent. But if Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling enters the race as an independent, McAuliffe has a slight lead over Cuccinnelli.
If Bolling enters the race, says George Mason University professor Toni-Michelle Travis, it could split the Republican vote. "It means that Cuccinnelli is going to have a very tough race to make sure he's ahead when you've got a three-way race," says Travis.
University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Kyle Kondik says Bolling's 13 percent showing should be sobering news.
"The polling also kind of confirms maybe the worst fears for Bolling, if he does get in, that he could end up being kind of a factor, but not ever really be in the race to win," says Kondik.
Bolling is promising a major announcement next month, presumably about the governor's race.