The pair of young, progressive African-American pols amassed so much political fame that they’re a must-call for the growing roster of likely Democratic presidential contenders. They’re also on some early and unofficial lists as possible vice-presidential running mates.

The White House hopefuls don’t just crave an endorsement from Abrams or Gillum. Each boasts valuable donor and volunteer lists, in the Southeast’s two biggest states that, if won next year, would almost guarantee a Democratic White House.

The attention Abrams and Gillum are receiving from presidential hopefuls is an indication of the growing pull of the party’s progressive base and highlights the role each could play as gatekeepers for African-American and liberal voters. In a crowded Democratic primary, that could make them kingmakers for a candidate lucky enough to score an endorsement or, at least, anchors who keep the candidates moored to a liberal agenda.