United States senator Elizabeth Warren takes step toward presidential run

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Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) on Monday sent an email to supporters and shared avideoon social media announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to examine her viability as a candidate in the next presidential race. There are many major potential Democratic candidates for 2020, but so far only Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro have said they'll likely run.

The move had been meant to stifle Trump's criticism of her but only engendered more mockery from him while also angering Democrats, particularly minorities who objected to her defining ethnicity via a test.

In the video, Warren also says "America's middle class is under attack" thanks to "corruption" that has benefited "billionaires and big corporations".

By launching an exploratory committee, Warren can begin raising money for the coming campaign. "You know it. I know it".

Warren has sparred with Trump over policy such as healthcare, as well as over more personal attacks.

The website announcing Warren's exploratory committee portrays her as a product of the American dream that has slipped out of reach for too many Americans.

Comedian and podcaster Rhea Butcher also tweeted to her 90,000-plus followers that those who said they'd vote for Warren in 2016 better come through in 2020. A professor turned consumer advocate, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. While she quickly became a liberal star when she joined the Senate, there is a real argument to be made that a Harvard professor from MA is not what the party needs in the 2020 general election.

Even without her running for office, she has often been the target of many of Trump's more pointed jabs, including his nicknaming her "Pocahontas" to ridicule her claims of Native American ancestry.

It made no mention of a recent Warren stumble: her October decision to release results of a DNA test that said she probably had a distant Native American ancestor.

The Massachusetts senator, known as a liberal firebrand in her party, released a video in which she outlines her vision of a path to opportunity for all Americans, not just the wealthy. And while she never mentions President Donald Trump by name, both he and his administration officials appear onscreen when Warren talks about an "echo chamber of fear and hate". That's why I had her at No. 1; there is so much upside.

Warren tweeted later Monday morning that she expects to formally announce her decision to run "early in the new year".

In the video, Ms Warren stressed the economic populist message that has brought her to national prominence.

Has the backlash against her DNA test and a period of underwhelming poll numbers damaged her political standing?