Governor Cuomo is widely viewed as a likely 2016 Presidential candidate because of his high approval ratings as the Governor of a very large state. New York is a highly reliable Democratic state in national elections and has major influence in the Democratic Party. Governor Cuomo's control of the New York State Democratic Party would give him significant influence in a 2016 primary fight.
Ironically, one of the two other likely candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016 is current US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also a New York State politician. Hillary Clinton has a nation-wide network of supporters that were galvanized by her 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination. But, she ran for President as a Senator from New York State. New York State remains a key base for Hillary Clinton.
Vice President Joe Biden is the other key likely candidate for the 2016 Presidential nomination in the Democratic Party. He may be unbeatable if he chooses to run, given his current leadership role in the Democratic Party, his very impressive performance at the 2012 Democratic Convention, and his domination of Paul Ryan in the only Vice Presidential debate in 2012. But, he may be even more unbeatable if he is running against two New York State residents who are splitting a powerful but small base.
Cuomo for Obama
Fueling speculation of a Cuomo run for the Presidency in 2016, the Governor has agreed to travel throughout the United States seeking support for President Obama's re-election.
Ironically, Cuomo himself stated that he wanted to avoid fueling such speculation, despite the obvious connection between Cuomo's willingness to make public appearances outside of New York State and his opportunity to raise his national profile in advance of a potential national campaign.
The New York Times gave us a window into Cuomo's thinking:
Mr. Cuomo said that nothing he did on Mr. Obama’s behalf should be viewed as evidence that he was laying the groundwork for a presidential run of his own.
“I’ll do whatever they ask me to do,” Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on an Albany radio station. “But I don’t want to step over a line that could fuel potential speculation of, ‘Well, Cuomo’s looking to run in 2016,’ you know?”
As the New York Daily News pointed out:
Since taking office, the popular second-year governor has deliberately stayed out the national spotlight, in large part to tamp down talk of his own presidential aspirations. Cuomo famously refuses to spend even a night out of state and has granted few national interviews. He has even declined all invitations to appear on the Sunday morning network news shows.
Therefore, the New York State Governor who has refused to leave the state overnight is now going to boldly dive into national public issues in communities far from New York State. Whether he admits it or not, Governor Cuomo might be embarking on his 2016 Presidential campaign by traveling the country on behalf of President Obama.