RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Roy Cooper for president in 2024?
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake places Gov. Cooper at No. 6 in the top 10 list for Democratic presidential candidates.
There are some clear reasons why – but there are also a lot of what-ifs.
In six back-to-back statewide elections, four times for attorney general and two for governor, Cooper has won them all.
Even while the Republican presidential nominee has carried North Carolina in each of those races except once.
On that occasion, Barack Obama only won the state by 14,177 votes.
“I think for somebody who has a pretty strong appeal in the state, who has won statewide numerous times, particularly in competitive electoral dynamics, Roy Cooper’s resume presents a very convincing case for consideration for the Democrats I think,” said Michael Bitzer, chair of the Department of Politics at Catawba College.
Cooper continues to make the shortlist of talked about 2024 presidential contenders.
But just like the rest on the list, like Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren, it all rests on whether President Joe Biden runs again.
Other than consistently winning a purple state and decent approval ratings, Cooper’s advantage partly lies in what governors are often called to do.
That includes crises like multiple hurricanes, flooding, and the pandemic.
“I think certainly the American voters look for a president that can deal with a crisis of the moment and governors tend to have that reserve – that ability to deal with crises. You never know what’s going to hit you in terms of a state. Being the chief executive certainly plays into a strength of being to say, ‘I have dealt with multiple crises, I have been road-tested with these battles.’ I think that that is a selling point to a lot of voters,” Bitzer said.
Cooper has shown no indication he’s interested in running for president or would consider the vice presidential spot.
When asked to respond to making the most recent top 10 list for presidential candidates, Cooper’s press secretary Jordan Monaghan said:
“The Governor supports President Biden and is focused on ensuring North Carolina emerges from the pandemic even stronger than before and implementing the President’s plans to create better jobs and support families here in our state.”
Bitzer said there is one sign to look out for that will tell us what Cooper is thinking.
“If you start to see individuals show up, particularly in Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina making pitches for members of their own party that tends to be part of the invisible presidential primary that gets raised and brings the recognition to the individual,” he said.