When the subject of the governor’s race comes up in conversation with political and government types, there are two things I often hear.

First, that someone new and exciting is going to enter the governor’s race late and scramble the contest.

The second is that Gavin Newsom is running for president in 2020.

I don’t believe either, but both views – rumors really – are shaping the race.

Newsom’s perceived presidential ambitions have been a way that supporters of the other Democratic candidates, especially Antonio Villaraigosa, are advancing a narrative that Newsom’s feet don’t quite touch the ground.

True or not, it’s a potent argument, because you can’t listen to Newsom for 5 minutes without recognizing that his ambitions are huge.

His policy proposals – the best part of his campaign – play into the idea of Newsom for President. Many of them are big, and they go into all sorts of topics – particularly around economy and technology – that aren’t the usual province of governors. And his single-payer proposal is the sort of thing that makes the hearts of Democratic activists sing.

And then there’s his relentless online organizing and fundraising appeals, which are often about national issues – and the threat of Trump. Newsom, who has been campaigning online for years, probably has a pretty good national database of supporters and small donors.

That said, it’s hard to believe that a Gov. Newsom could pivot to a presidential campaign that quickly, or would want to. By the time he staffed up a government and was signing his first budget, he’d have to be in Iowa.

And the California governorship, as I’ve written previously, has reached the level of a second American presidency. He’s not that old. He would have a fulfilling job, and time to think about aiming higher at some other point.

The fly in that ointment is whether another Californian – Kamala Harris or, less likely, Eric Garcetti – were to break through and get the nomination in 2020. But the odds are against that happening.