Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D-N.D.) said Thursday that she will support President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE's nomination of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSondland brings impeachment inquiry to White House doorstep Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony Five bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony 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 PaulSenate scraps plan to force second stopgap vote ahead of shutdown On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal Democratic debate at Tyler Perry's could miss the mark with black voters MORE (R-Ky.) opposes Pompeo's nomination and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBudowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 Conservative group cuts ties with Michelle Malkin Democratic debate at Tyler Perry's could miss the mark with black voters 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 FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 CoonsHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Democrats raise privacy concerns over Amazon home security system Senators press Facebook over user location tracking policies 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 TillersonTillerson: Using American aid for 'some kind of personal gain [is] wrong' Nikki Haley fires the first shot in the GOP's post-Trump war State Dept. watchdog: Official's firing was case of political retaliation 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.