RICHMOND, NOV. 9 -- Aides to Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder have formed a political action committee to trumpet the governor's name and brand of fiscal conservatism around the nation, the clearest sign yet that the Democrat intends to join the 1992 presidential sweepstakes.

Viewing this week's elections as an endorsement of Wilder's state platform of spending cuts and no new taxes, his political confidant Paul Goldman filed with the Federal Elections Commission to form the "Committee for Fiscal Responsibility in 1992," then called reporters to tell them about it.

Wilder spokeswoman Laura Dillard said there has been no change in the governor's plans, which he has said do not involve a bid for president in 1992. But few Wilder observers in Virginia or elsewhere were taking the political action committee at face value.

"Speculation is the spice of political life," Goldman said of the committee's connection to a possible Wilder run for president. "If this keeps the speculators working, it will be good for them and good for the economy."

Wilder, who has been the nation's first elected black governor for 10 months, has spent most of his administration dealing with a budget crisis by ordering spending cuts that have angered interest groups and state legislators.

Wilder aides believe his fiscal restraint in Virginia has positioned the governor to build a national coalition of moderate Democrats, combined with liberal blacks who wouldn't ordinarily support a politician of such a conservative stripe.

Many analysts believe this strategy was given a boost by Tuesday's elections. Although the road bond referendum Wilder supported was soundly drubbed by Virginians, voters in other states unintentionally helped his national prospects. Many of his potential Democratic rivals were weakened, particularly New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, who was denied the landslide his supporters were expecting.

"I don't think there is any doubt that this is a vehicle for Doug Wilder to further his presidential ambitions," said Robert Holsworth, a political scientist at Virginia Commonwealth University.

"There's no question" that the committee is a signal of Wilder's national ambitions, agreed James M. Ruvolo, an Ohio Democrat who is president of a national group of state party chairmen.

"It opens up a lot of intriguing possibilities for a party that's been painted as too liberal."

What's not certain is that Wilder would have support from the other half of that coalition: black voters. Howard University political scientist Alvin Thornton said blacks must find a candidate's issues appealing, particularly if there is to be the high black turnout that Democrats historically have needed to win elections.

"You're not going to get the people with just the candidacy," said Thornton, pointing to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's unsuccessful bids for California governor, which didn't mobilize blacks in the numbers his supporters hoped for.

Goldman, whom Wilder appointed as chairman of the state Democratic Party, said it is "not yet determined" exactly how the new committee would meet its goal of "promoting fiscal responsibility," but that it would raise money and possibly make contributions to some candidates.

Mark Warner, an aide and fund-raiser from Wilder's gubernatorial campaign, is serving as the group's treasurer.

In Richmond, where many political observers have assumed for months that Wilder eventually would throw his hat in the presidential ring, there was considerable surprise at the boldness and the early timing Wilder has demonstrated in forming the group.

Partisans of Sen. Charles S. Robb, another Virginia Democrat frequently mentioned as a presidential possibility, fumed at what they see as Wilder's egoism in grasping for national attention after serving such a short time as governor.

But Ruvolo said Wilder's time in office is irrelevant. "In this day and age there's no such thing is paying your dues," he said. "Paying your dues is raising enough money to buy TV time. What matters is the message."

Not everyone took the same message from Tuesday's election. Brad Johnson, Washington counsel to Cuomo, asserted today that "tax fairness is a far more compelling issue than no new taxes . . . . The issue is not as simple as a Democrat suggesting that no one should read his lips, either."

Although Wilder has criticized Cuomo for being a heavy spender, Johnson said Cuomo has no quarrel with Wilder and has invited him to speak in New York.

But the policy director for the Democratic Leadership Council, a group formed by Robb and others to support moderate Democrats, said Cuomo has been discredited. "When Doug Wilder talks about fiscal responsibility, he does all Democrats a favor," Bruce Reed said. "Tuesday's elections proved that old-style Northeastern liberalism doesn't even work in the Northeast any more."

Some Virginia Democrats expressed concern that Goldman's work for the new committee would divert the party chairman from the task of electing Democrats in next year's legislative races. "It's something that I hope Paul would consider," said John McGlennon, a party activist from Williamsburg.

But McGlennon, a political scientist at the College of William and Mary, said Wilder is shrewd in allowing Goldman to fan speculation while not formally announcing his plans.

"At this point, he would much rather keep people guessing, 'Will he or won't he?' than to say he will and {cause} people to start adding up the pluses and minuses" of his candidacy, McGlennon said.