However, the Manchin, Collins and Flake coalition would be enough to confirm Kavanaugh if they actually follow through on how they are saying they are going to vote.
Collins is up for reelection in 2020, and while no Democrat has officially challenged the longtime senator yet, whoever does will have lots of money to play with.
That left unclear whether yesterday's tally signaled that the 53-year-old federal appellate judge was on his way to the nation's highest court, though it would be unusual for lawmakers to switch their votes on such a high-profile issue.
Murkowski especially expressed her distaste for the way Kavanaugh conducted himself in a hearing last Thursday as he defended himself against allegations from Christine Blasey Ford. The remarkable and ugly set of twists and turns over the weeks all ended at the doorsteps of a handful of key senators.
Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin said they'll support Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, ensuring he'll be confirmed Saturday after a bitter fight over sexual assault allegations against the nominee. But she is also under great pressure from Kavanaugh opponents in ME, where activists have been crowdfunding a hypothetical Democratic opponent for 2020 should she vote "yes".
Kavanaugh's presumptive victory became clear when Collins made a dramatic speech from the Senate floor mid-afternoon Friday announcing she plans to vote yes on Kavanaugh.
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In the follow-up tweet, Rice said: "Many thanks for the encouragement".
A vote on confirmation could happen as early as Saturday.
Collins stressed that the confirmation process was not a trial and did not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt to disqualify Kavanaugh.
Collins began her eagerly anticipated floor statement began shortly after 3 p.m.to the sounds of shouting and chants from anti-Kavanaugh protesters, like so numerous proceedings over the months-long confirmation process.
McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview that the "mob" of opposition - confronting senators in the hallways and at their homes - united his narrowly divided GOP majority as Kavanaugh's confirmation teetered and will give momentum to his party this fall.
The vote caps a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his Supreme Court nominee. Accusations from several women remain under scrutiny, and House Democrats have pledged further investigation if they win the majority in November.
Trump, flying to Kansas for a political rally, flashed a thumbs-up gesture when the tally was announced and praised Kavanaugh for being "able to withstand this terrible, disgusting attack by the Democrats". Exactly one month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, Democrats tried making sure that female voters were paying attention. And there are real questions about whether Kavanaugh misled the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation testimony this year and in 2006, during the confirmation process for his seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Kennedy, 81, retired after three decades in the middle of the court's ideological battles.