Ultimately, it was Collins who put Kavanaugh on the brink of a lifetime appointment. Jeff Flake after arriving to find the Arizona Republican's office locked Friday.
Senators could still change their support in the coming day, but continued support from Collins, Flake and Manchin would push Kavanaugh's confirmation through.
Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the Democrats who take to the Senate floor early Saturday to rail against Kavanaugh.
"I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing", Manchin said. Ford's testimony was "sincere" and "painful", said Collins, saying that she believes she was assaulted and has been traumatized, but Kavanaugh deserves "fairness" in the face of allegations.
Murkowski chose the opposite path.
Kay Coles James, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, called the vote "a victory for liberty in America" and called Kavanaugh "a good man and good jurist".
"It is simply impossible, after seeing the results of the FBI's supplemental work - I hesitate to call it an investigation - that anybody could think it was in any way, shape or form, the "comprehensive" work the President promised", Senator Hirono said, in a video of her floor speech posted to Facebook. In another example, again following a long period of hemming and hawing, Collins voted to confirm torture mastermind Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Her attorney Lisa Banks said Ford doesn't have any regrets about coming forward.
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Former Obama White House communications director Jennifer Psaki asked on Twitter who might want to run against Collins in 2020. Republican Sen. Susan Collins is expected to announce her vote Friday afternoon.
In the Capitol, however, both senators won praise from their colleagues. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Kavanaugh's most ardent supporters. Murkowski claimed she agonized over her vote, telling reporters she didn't make up her mind until she walked into the Senate chamber. "Why couldn't he just say, 'Yeah, I did party and I was drunk, that was when I was 17, and I'm not that way now?' ..."
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in Friday morning's procedural vote. Steve Daines to stay at his daughter's wedding in his home state instead of flying to Washington to cast his supporting vote. Senators often partner like that to allow an absence without affecting the outcome.
The Maine senator has been seen as a key swing vote in the confirmation of Kavanaugh. And she still stuck to her conscience.
Democrats paraded to a almost empty Senate chamber overnight and into Saturday to lambaste the nominee. She was re-elected in 2016. But for the past few weeks, the battle was dominated by allegations that he sexually abused women decades ago - accusations he emphatically denied.
Katz told Bash that she and Ford thought Feinstein had respected the process involving her constituent. But Kavanaugh's backers said the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not find evidence to corroborate Ford's accusations.
"Believe me I struggled with it for a long time", Collins said after her speech. She also blasted Ford's legal team for not informing Ford of Grassley's offer for her to give her testimony in private, alleging they used Dr. Ford to torpedo Kavanaugh's nomination.