Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic strategists and operatives surfaced a lengthy list of would-be presidential contenders. Aside from Pritzker, Murphy and Newsom, there’s North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who won the state even as Trump prevailed there. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who rose to national prominence during Biden’s vice presidential search, is also frequently mentioned.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who took a different approach to the pandemic than many fellow Democrats, would be a history-making, openly gay candidate. Stacey Abrams, who is running in a rematch against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, is already a party star with an enormous national fundraising base.
“For governors, especially those up in 2022, you’re building an operation for now, but you could also use it again in 2024 or 2028 — and for those who can win in 2022, they’ve got a really good story to tell that keeps them separate from the national Democratic brand,” said Corey Platt, former political director at the Democratic Governors Association — who added that he is a Biden supporter and believes the president is Democrats’ likeliest and best nominee in 2024.
“It’s happening in the lightest of ways for all the obvious reasons, including the need to build a national fundraising operation,” Platt added. “But if you want to run for president one day, that doesn’t happen overnight.”