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 WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 Booker2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign T.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy compares abortion to slavery 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues 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.