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.
Friday's announcements of support by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia made the final confirmation vote a formality, though still an emotional one. Kavanaugh vehemently denied all those claims. Manchin released his statement declaring his support for Kavanaugh shortly after Collins finished her speech - and after Republicans had already secured enough votes to confirm the judge, meaning that Manchin would not be the deciding vote.
"I think she understands that this has been a very hard time for him and his family, just as it's been an incredibly hard time for her and her family", Banks said. There would be no way to make it acceptable.
Two other women also made accusations of sexual misconduct by Mr Kavanaugh in the 1980s. She said on the Senate floor Friday evening that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but his "appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable". "I'm in awe of their courage, too", she said in a statement. "So, therefore, it's not valid, you know, it's not valid that it was him, even though that type of memory does not get mistaken, does not go away".
Vice President Mike Pence has planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed, which now seems unlikely.
Kavanaugh's nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct.
Key U.S. senator concerned about Kavanaugh's 'partisan' tone
Deborah Ramirez also came forward and alleged that Kavanaugh, when he was a student at Yale, exposed himself to her at a party. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Ford of California, were brought before the committee on September 24 to testify.
"Truly, this confirmation vote is a low moment for the Senate and the country".
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is estimated to have 51 senators who will vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks to reporters after a cloture vote for the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, at the US Capitol, October 5, 2018, in Washington, DC.
Immediately after that speech, Manchin announced his support, calling Kavanaugh a "qualified jurist" who "will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court".
Senator Collins ended hopes she would side with Democrats in the final vote, telling fellow senators she did not believe the "charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".
Further complicating matters for the Republican leadership, Senator Steve Daines was set to be at his daughter's wedding on Saturday and has said he will not miss the ceremony. Kavanaugh called the allegations "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" at the hearing.