In the end, three of those four undecideds - Collins, Flake and Manchin - voted to end debate.
The final Senate vote is expected Saturday afternoon.
Flake's "yes" vote - combined with his comments Thursday that the FBI's supplemental investigation had been thorough and provided no corroborating evidence of the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - suggest he will nearly certainly be a "yes" on final confirmation.
Kavanaugh's confirmation was stalled by allegations of sexual assault against him, though he looks likely to be confirmed in a final vote on Saturday. And there is some sense that Manchin, despite the fact that Trump won his state by 43 points and he is up for reelection in 32 days, wouldn't be willing to be the 50th (and deciding) vote on Kavanaugh.
"Dr. Ford's goal here was never to impact the process to derail a nomination", attorney Lisa Banks said on All Things Considered.
The halls of the Senate office building played host to some of the most tense eruptions of protests, though, including one outside the office of Arizona GOP Sen. "Her goal wasn't to derail this nomination, it was to inform the nomination and she's done that".
Mr Trump praised the Senate, tweeting: "Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!".
As swing-vote senators processed the FBI's findings, Kavanaugh was forced to fend off another criticism of his nomination: his temperament.
It sealed a victory for President Donald Trump's quest to move the Supreme Court rightward, perhaps for decades, and a satisfying win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP's conservative base. The Alaska Republican noted that being recorded as "present" would not change the outcome.
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris urged voters to keep the pressure on. Dianne Feinstein of California, said Republicans have "largely chosen to ignore the testimony" of Ford. "AFN will continue to advocate against his confirmation and will work to get other senators to join Senator Murkowski prior to tomorrow's final floor vote". Both nodded eagerly in agreement with the other.
A representative for Collins told The Post last month that the senator wouldn't be swayed by any fundraising tactic.
This does not mean that unwanted sexual contact isn't a problem in the country, Collins also said, adding that a senate vote for Kavanugh does not mean it condones sexual assault.
Senators had one day to review a confidential supplemental background check into Kavanaugh's behavior in the early- to mid-1980s when he was in high school and college.
The FBI sent Congress documents detailing additional interviews about Kavanaugh that the agency conducted at the request of some Republican and Democratic senators.
At one point, Murkowski told reporters it was "the most hard evaluation of a decision that I've ever had to make".
"Believe me I struggled with it for a long time", Collins said after her speech.
However, Democrats claimed the probe as an incomplete vetting constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of Trump's man. White House officials have said Kavanaugh would be sworn in swiftly. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), another key vote, voted yes on the motion to cloture. Sen. Susan Collins of ME, voted with Republicans to cut off debate and scheduled a 3 pm press conference on her final position.
The FBI provided a confidential report to senators on Thursday after a limited inquiry into allegations of misconduct.
The political world was waiting for what Collins would say.
What was the Federal Bureau of Investigation directed to investigate? They said the process ignored many potential witnesses, including Ford.
While she respects her colleagues' support for Kavanaugh, Murkowski said, "I also that think we're at a place where we need to think about the credibility and integrity of our institutions".
US Capitol Police said 302 were arrested - among them said to be comedian Amy Schumer, a distant relative of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The report has not been released to the public.
Similar concerns moved Sen.
The next morning, Flake announced his support for Kavanaugh.
He's is up for re-election in a very red state, West Virginia. "I don't l know what her reasons are voting the way she is".
Flake didn't ask Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh any questions at the hearing and ended the spectacle with the prediction that no one would draw much comfort from what had unfolded in front of a spellbound nation.
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