And who can blame them?
For the first time since 1928, there is no president running for re-election or vice president seeking his party's nomination.
More than a dozen Democrats and more than a dozen Republicans are mentioned as possible candidates for the White House. And a group of activists is promoting the concept of a bipartisan or independent ticket for 2008.
"Every governor and every senator wakes up each morning and hums 'Hail to the Chief' while getting ready for work," said Republican consultant Rich Galen. "There will be more people than at any time in my memory who will at least take the early steps to see if they can make a run."
On the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain is the highest-profile politician likely considering a run. For the Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is viewed as her party's front-runner.
"Both of these candidates will be so strong in the polls and fundraising that the other candidates will have a difficult time getting oxygen," said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist. "These folks will have to decide early. If one chooses not to run, it will then be the Wild West."
Virginia Sen. George Allen and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could be strong GOP candidates and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is popular, though his support for abortion and gay rights would be an obstacle in Republican primaries. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's name has surfaced repeatedly, though she keeps denying any interest.
Other Republicans to watch include: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, New York Gov. George Pataki, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
McCain, who has been at odds with religious conservatives in the past, needs to garner the support of the conservative wing of his party. Clinton, who has been cautious on her position about the Iraq war, needs to energize the liberal wing and convince Democrats that she can win a general election.
The outcome of the midterm elections is certain to influence both those missions.
"The great question is when does the voters' anger abate? Right now it's an angry electorate," says Democratic consultant Dane Strother. "If this were a presidential year, the front-runner would be an outsider. People are so disillusioned with Washington."
Former Vice President Al Gore claims he has no plans to run, but his tour promoting his global warming movie "An Inconvenient Truth" has a campaign flavor about it and has raised his stock in some Democratic circles.