Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are tied in the Virginia governor race, and the contest is expected to remain tight even if Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling decides to jump in as an independent.

McAuliffe and Cuccinelli each pulled in 38 percent of the vote in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, virtually unchanged from a January survey that showed McAuliffe with a statistically insignificant 40-39 lead over Cuccinelli.

In a hypothetical race with Bolling, McAuliffe captures 34 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli's 31 percent. Bolling, a Republican who has not officially announced whether he intends to wage an independent campaign, finished at 13 percent.

Six in 10 respondents didn't have an opinion of McAuliffe, who once served as Democratic National Committee chairman and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2009. Still, that's better than Bolling. Despite eight years as the state's No. 2, only 30 percent of Virginians know who he is.

Of those polled, 30 percent had a favorable opinion of Cuccinelli compared to the 25 percent who thought unfavorably of the conservative leader.

Cuccinelli is the official Republican nominee for governor. McAuliffe is the only Democrat in the race so far.

Bolling has said he decide by mid-March whether to enter the race as an idenpendent.