At least a dozen senators are widely thought to be in the mix — including Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey’s Cory Booker, California’s Kamala Harris, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, and both Minnesotans, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. But the depleted bench of Democratic governors is also stocked with possible White House hopefuls, expanding the list of credible presidential prospects to as many as two dozen.

“You say there are 7,000 Democrats who think they’re going to be president? Well 3,500 of them have a good shot at it,” said Democratic strategist Erik Smith, a veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, including Barack Obama’s. “There are so many candidates who have held back over the last 10 years. A lot of them didn’t get into the race because Hillary Clinton was running in 2007, and then a lot stayed out in 2016 because she ran again, so you have a whole generation that’s been waiting in the wings for years. Those calls are definitely happening.”…

“They’re all just thinking, ‘I have no idea what the world is going to look like in a year, so instead of methodically plotting out my march to the nomination, all I’m trying to do is be relevant in this environment, not do anything that closes a door on any future, and make sure I can carve out something that I’m known for so that when people ask, ‘where were you,’ you’re ready with an answer,’” said a Democratic campaign veteran who declined to talk about the 2020 race on the record. “Everyone assumes in four years it’s going to be a referendum on [Trump]. But what’s it going to be a referendum on? He’s a liar?”