Warren wins reelection, setting up 2020 White House bid

Warren wins reelection, setting up 2020 White House bid
© Anna Moneymaker - Greg Nash

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs MORE (D) is projected to win reelection to a second Senate term, paving the way for her to explore a highly anticipated presidential campaign in 2020.

Warren was declared the winner over Republican Geoff Diehl, a little-known state representative who touted his role in helping to repeal a state law that automatically indexed the state’s gas tax to inflation.

The liberal senator expressed her gratitude in a Tuesday evening tweet, saying she is "just getting started."

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Warren criticized Diehl as someone who would not stand up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE, who is unpopular in Massachusetts, and for not pushing back more forcefully on the president’s immigration rhetoric.

Diehl portrayed Warren as an ambitious politician already looking ahead to a run against Trump in 2020 and promised that he would represent Massachusetts for all six years of his term.

The contest was a low-key affair compared to Warren’s expensive race against incumbent Republican Scott Brown in 2012, which she won by about 7 points after both candidates spent nearly $80 million.

Warren was a shaky campaigner at times in 2012, having had no previous experience in a major elected office. Brown during that campaign hit Warren on her claims of Native American heritage while a law professor at Harvard University, an attack that Trump has since taken up with gusto.

Last month, she attempted to counter GOP criticisms that she had falsely claimed Native American heritage by releasing DNA test results showing she had a pure Native American ancestor in her family tree six to 10 generations ago.

But the move provoked controversy as such a distant ancestor put her Native American ancestry somewhere between 0.1 percent and 1.6 percent.

After six years in Washington, Warren has become a more surefooted politician. She led her party’s opposition to the roll back of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and has recently begun speaking to reporters in the U.S. Capitol.

Warren enters the 2020 election cycle as a top-tier White House contender. She said at the end of September that she would take a “hard look at running for president” after Nov. 6.

CNN last month ranked her first in its power rankings of Democrats most likely to win the party’s nomination in 2020.

Her toughest competition for the nomination include several Democratic colleagues: Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs Biden leads in new national poll, Warren close behind in second place MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Biden leads in new national poll, Warren close behind in second place MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions MORE (N.Y.).

Warren raised more than $34 million for her reelection and reported $13.9 million in cash on hand as of mid-October.