Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine) said today that she'll vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Minutes later, Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) said he'll vote yes as well. With both senators' support, Republicans appear to have the 50 votes necessary to confirm Kavanaugh.
Collins made the announcement during a speech on the Senate floor. Earlier, Collins voted yes on a cloture vote to end floor debate on the nomination. Fifty-one senators, including Collins, supported the measure, while 49 opposed it.
The moderate Maine Republican acknowledged the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, which were the subject of an FBI background check over the past week. But Collins asserted that "the allegations fail to meet the 'more likely than not standard.'" Ultimately, Collins said, "I do not believe these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court."
Collins and Manchin are among four swing senators likely to decide Kavanaugh's fate. The others are Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska) and Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.). Murkowski voted no on the cloture vote, then later said Kavanaugh was "not the right man for the court." Flake and Manchin, on the other hand, both voted yes. Flake later said he would continue to support Kavanaugh "unless something big changed."
Collins and Manchin's support means Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed. A final vote could take place as soon as tomorrow afternoon.