Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampKavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow MORE (D-N.D.) said Thursday that she will support President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE's nomination of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid Hillicon Valley: Elon Musk sued by diver from Thai cave rescue | Researchers find new malware family | FEMA delays new presidential alert test Trump administration to cut refugee admissions to 30K for 2019 MORE as secretary of State, virtually guaranteeing he will win confirmation.

Heitkamp, who faces a difficult reelection race this fall in a state Trump won by double-digits, becomes the first Senate Democrat to announce her support for Pompeo.

“The role of the State Department is to support our diplomatic missions to avoid conflict, support American interests, and stand up for our allies, and having a leadership team in place is essential to carrying out those jobs,” she said in a statement.

If he is confirmed, Heitkamp said that she would “hold Mr. Pompeo accountable to make sure he advances our country’s leadership in the world and supports our embassies.”

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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump says Dems inflated Puerto Rico death toll | House cancels Friday votes | Florence starts to hit coast The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Facing major hurricane, Trump is tested MORE (R-Ky.) opposes Pompeo's nomination and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAnother recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (R-Ariz.) has been absent, leaving Republicans with a maximum of 49 votes for his confirmation. Heitkamp's vote would get them to 50, the simple majority needed to be confirmed.  

Pompeo has been engaged in a flurry of 11th hour one-on-one meetings with Democrats as he’s searched for the crucial swing vote.

Heitkamp met with him late last month but told reporters as recently as Wednesday that she remained undecided as she reviewed his record and the transcripts of his hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee, where she is not a member.

It's possible Pompeo could lose another GOP vote. Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he remains undecided on Pompeo, but he did support him to be CIA director last year.

But a few other Democrats facing tough reelection races in states won by Trump may also back Pompeo.

Heitkamp was one of 15 Democrats, including Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingRestoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress Restore our parks Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash MORE (I-Maine), who supported Pompeo’s nomination last year to be secretary of State.

With Heitkamp’s announcement, seven remain on the fence:  Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Mark Warner (Va.) and King.

Pompeo may still get an unfavorable vote next week from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No Democrats on the panel are backing Pompeo, and Paul is also an expected "no" vote.

With Republicans holding a one-seat advantage on the panel, he would need to win over at least one Democrat to get a favorable vote. Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed Congress and Trump are out of step on intellectual property White House drops plan to cut foreign aid MORE (D-Del.) is the only Democrat who hasn't announced how he will vote. But he previously opposed Pompeo to be CIA director and has said he's leaning against supporting him for his current nomination. 

Heitkamp on Thursday said that she decided to vote for Pompeo after she showed that he is “committed to empowering” State Department diplomats after the agency’s morale took a hit as former secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonPompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story Rubio defends Haley over curtains story: Example of media pushing bias MORE tried to restructure and cut staffing at the department.  

“Pompeo demonstrated during this nomination process and during our meeting in March that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department so they can do their jobs in advancing American interests,” she said.

Democrats are under a mountain of pressure from both sides as they weigh Pompeo's nomination. 
 
Progressive and liberal outside groups immediately panned Heitkamp's decision. 
 
Nicole Brener-Schmitz, the political director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the group was "very disappointed."
 
"A vote in favor of Mike Pompeo is simply irreconcilable with being a true champion for women and girls," she added.
 
MoveOn also sent its supporters an email urging them to tell Heitkamp to reconsider her decision and "stop Pompeo in order to stop a war."
 
"Sen. Heitkamp is declaring her vote in favor of Pompeo even after over 20 Senate Democrats have already spoken out. ...Sen. Heitkamp should listen to her constituents and her colleagues who have serious concerns about this appointment," the group wrote in the email to its supporters. 

Updated at 6:34 p.m.