By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND – With two new polls projecting that Bill Bolling would receive double-digit support in the 2013 governor’s race, the lieutenant governor is keeping his options open.
A Quinnipiac Poll released today showed Bolling would garner 13 percent as an independent candidate.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe scored 40 percent and likely Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli had 39 percent in the hypothetical three-way contest.
A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday had McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 40-32, with Bolling at 15 percent.
Bolling suspended his gubernatorial campaign late last fall, but he has not ruled out an independent bid.
“The results of these polls confirm what we have been hearing across the state, which is that there is a general dissatisfaction among voters with Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. McAuliffe,” Bolling spokeswoman Ibbie Hedrick told Watchdog.org.
“We believe there is a real opening in this campaign for a credible Independent candidate, and it is clear that Lt. Gov. Bolling is well liked by Virginia voters and he would be viewed as a credible Independent candidate.”
While saying Bolling was ”encouraged” by the polls, Hedrick said the lieutenant governor’s focus for the next 45 days “will be on the General Assembly session and the important issues facing our state.”
“He’ll revisit the stats of the governor’s campaign in March and decide whether or not he wants to enter the race as an Independent candidate,” Hedrick said.
Peter Brown, director of polling at Quinnipiac, said, “Logic tells us that if Bolling should run for governor as an independent, he would likely take more votes from fellow Republican Cuccinelli than from Democrat McAuliffe, but at this point the data indicates he would take equally from both major party candidates.”
Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said, “Even to a decent number of Republicans (Cuccinelli) is an unacceptable candidate, and that could give Bill Bolling an opening to run a viable independent campaign.”