But whether the campaign is focused on substance or on the dating habits of these most eligible men depends largely on how seriously they're perceived as contenders as well as how they behave, say political observers.
"One wonders whether there will not be a feeding frenzy if one or more of these candidates starts doing well," says Mr. Sabato, whose book "Feeding Frenzy" examines media coverage of politics. "There may be an irresistible urge to investigate past and present relationships."
Indeed, all three bachelor Dems have provided food for the feed with their relationships with glamorous, high-profile women: Governor Wilder with wealthy divorced Virginia socialite Patricia Kluge (a combo that still elicits whispers and elbow-nudging); Senator Kerrey with actress Debra Winger (an on-again, off-again affair that he says is now a friendship), and Governor Brown with singer Linda Ronstadt (a relationship eclipsed in his 1976 presidential bid by other unorthodox elements of his campaign and persona.)
The public will expect to know who will play the role of first lady, says Democratic strategist Mike McCurry. Will Jerry Brown import his sister, California state Treasurer Kathleen Brown -- or will his one-time date, actress Anjelica Huston, show up on his arm?
Mr. Schneider believes these candidates will have to tread lightly in the dating arena. "What they don't want to do is call attention to it."
As governor, Mr. Wilder attends and hosts most official functions stag, or with one of his daughters. Senator Kerrey enlisted a safe surrogate -- his ex-wife -- to round out the family picture as he kicked off his campaign this week, and told interviewers he was "good friends" with Ms. Winger.
'We're just good friends' will be the dominant answer," says Mr. Sheehan. "These candidates will try to bore it over -- make [their personal lives] a really boring discussion."
Ironically, in this post-Gary Hart era, some believe that the singlguys may arouse less scrutiny than their married counterparts. At a recent press breakfast, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who's expected to declare his candidacy today, brought out his wife of 16 years, Hillary, to try to quash rumors of infidelity.
And the unattached may reap other advantages as well, gaining the edge in a "semi-glamorous way," says political strategist Carter Eskew. "The idea of a White House wedding might thrill a lot of people. It would be the closest thing we'd have to a royal wedding."
Perhaps even more thrilling to some would be a single president with no wedding plans at all. Says Mr. McCurry, "It would give new meaning to the term 'Washington's most eligible bachelor.' "