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The Midterms Have Rebuilt Democrats’ Presidential Bench


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Sen. Raphael Warnock is the latest option among a host of swing-state governors and superstar senators ready for when the party moves past Joe Biden.
Kevin Robillard
Dec 7, 2022

WASHINGTON – The 2022 midterms have rebuilt the Democrats’ presidential bench, providing the party with a host of ideological, geographical and biographical options for the party’s next nominee after Joe Biden — be that sooner or later.

While November’s midterms were far from a complete success — Republicans took control of the U.S. House — Democrats won most of the country’s marquee swing-state Senate and gubernatorial contests, with presidential buzz developing around some of the victors even before their races were called.

Two events this week highlight this new bench: The reelection of Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in a runoff on Tuesday night put the spotlight on one of the party’s highest-profile Black leaders. And the Democratic Governors’ Association’s conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, featured a host of would-be presidential contenders.


The full list of names who won in November is dizzying and diverse. Want a moderate senator with a compelling personal story who’s won reelection in a tough state? Here’s Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. Want a candidate from a traditional battleground who’s shown a pathway for defeating extremist Republicans? Take a look at Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro. How about taking another run at electing the first woman to the presidency? Meet Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey.


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