Andrew Cuomo has a re-election to worry about in 2018, but the governor of New York may already have his sights set on 2020.
Despite not taking the role of chairman to the Democratic Governors Association, Cuomo has still shown his desire to take on a more national appearance by becoming policy chairman of the DGA. The New York Democrat has already made recent trips to Israel and Cuba. Obama White House employees are reportedly interviewing at his office as he continues to bulk his own staff.
Aides to Cuomo have gone so far as to say a 2020 presidential bid is inevitable.
He should have an opening amongst Democrats after a terrible 2016 election has left the party with no real leader once Obama leaves office. The Democratic Party is certainly experiencing a leadership vacuum and he could potentially fill that void. The only possibility of stopping Cuomo would be a re-election loss in 2018 – something very unlikely in the blue bastion that is New York. Nothing is impossible in this new age of anti-establishmentism among the electorate. Recent polling shows Cuomo's approval rating underwater.
However, Cuomo does face some hurdles before he can solely focus on 2020.
Before he can be a leader for national Democrats, he must prove he can be a leader for New York Democrats. Republicans are able to keep control of the state Senate by way of a weird power structure in that chamber. A group of seven Democrats belong to a caucus called the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). The IDC and one Democrat that caucuses with Senate Republicans has kept power within GOP hands. Liberals are calling on Cuomo to force them back into the Democratic fold.
“Everyone at the national level sees the Democratic Party as fractured. If this guy wants to unite the Democratic Party [and] he can’t even do it in his home state, how can he do it at the national level?” a Democratic aide stated.
If unable to give bring the New York Senate back into Democratic control – it will leave an embarrassing mark on his tenure as governor and hinder his chances at gaining support amongst national liberals.
It's not even 2017, but the race is already underway for Democrats who want to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.