Yes, the 2012 election just ended, but come on, did you really think anyone would wait to begin the 2016 presidential election chatter?
Looking across the political landscape, 2016 is setting up to be the year of the governor, for both Democrats and Republicans.
Let’s begin with the out-party. There are potentially six Republican candidates currently serving as state executives. These include:
Chris Christie of New Jersey (his interest among party faithful may have peaked this year)
Bob McDonnell of Virginia (considered on the short-list for VP candidates this year)
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (like Christie, interest in his candidacy may be fading)
Mitch Daniels of Indiana (once considered a possible candidate for 2012, he could be very popular again in 2016 should the economy continue to sputter)
John Kasich of Ohio (like Daniels, a well-known fiscally conservative Midwestern governor, but also carries the weight of a significant battleground state)
Nikki Haley of South Carolina (wildcard candidate, but could potentially help the GOP among female voters—not that women only vote for women)
For you Iowa faithful, I think Governor Branstad’s possibilities are limited to Iowa. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is also probably out.
Among Democrats, where the task of continuing the party’s hold on the presidency will be difficult given historic trends toward voting against in-party candidates following eight years in the White House, three current governors stand out.
Andrew Cuomo of New York (certainly has name recognition)
Deval Patrick of Massachusetts (well-known and respected within the party; will be retiring as governor in 2015)
Martin O’Malley of Maryland (very popular and current chair of the Democratic Governors Association)
And finally, let’s not overlook the fact that U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be in Iowa next week to celebrate Governor’s Branstad’s birthday. We didn’t even make it to Thanksgiving this time around…
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This post was written by Chris Larimer on November 11, 2012