California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
CNN  — 

America got a preview this week of what the 2024 presidential campaign might look like if President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump stepped aside to clear the way for the next generation’s possible candidates in waiting: Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Gavin Newsom of California.

DeSantis and Newsom, a Republican and a Democrat who are each running for reelection this fall, have been shadowboxing with ferocity on the sidelines since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic – demonstrating their shrewd political instincts, a voracious appetite for attention and the ability to fire up their parties’ bases better than many of their peers. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who is also defending his seat in November, has often been in the mix too.