Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.) said Thursday that she will support President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE's nomination of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Top Dem demands State Department documents on Khashoggi killing 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 PaulGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (R-Ky.) opposes Pompeo's nomination and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal Mark Kelly launches Senate bid in Arizona 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 FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger 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.

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 CoonsTrump got in Dem’s face over abortion at private meeting: report Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Actor Chris Evans meets with Democratic senators before State of the Union 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 TillersonTrump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation Trump concealed details of meetings with Putin from senior officials: report 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.