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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) are now three of the key final lawmakers who remain undecided.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) are now three of the key final lawmakers who remain undecided. (Photo: Getty images)

Increasing Pressure on Manchin, Flake, Collins, and Murkowski—Heitkamp a "No" on Kavanaugh

North Dakota Democrat said "at the end of the day you have to make a decision and I have made that decision... I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh."

Jon Queally

With mass protests on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon and a procedural vote set for Friday, North Dakota's Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp has declared she is a firm "no" on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, leaving Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) as the last remaining Democrat still on the fence against the historically unpopular and controversial Supreme Court nominee.

"The process has been bad but at the end of the day you have to make a decision and I have made that decision," Heitkamp told local radio station WDAY radio in Fargo, North Dakota. "I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh."

In addition to the intensified focus it puts on Manchin's decision, Heitkamp's announcement also puts heightened pressure on the three key Republicans: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Jeff Flake of Arizona – all three of whom have expressed reservations about Kavanaugh and all three facing increased protests from their own consituents and the broader American public.

In her comments, Heitkamp said that last week's testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and the outpouring of women's voices since, was a serious consideration in her final decision.

"When I listened to Dr. Ford testify, I heard the voices of women I have known throughout my life who have similar stories of sexual assault and abuse," Heitkamp said.  "Our actions right now are a poignant signal to young girls and women across our country. I will continue to stand up for them."

News of Heitkamp's "no" came as West Virginian voters maintained an ongoing occupation of Manchin's office in the U.S. Senate Building:

While both Collins and Flake indicated their satisfaction with the report generated by the FBI and handed over for senator's to review on Thursday, they—along with Murkowski—remain the target of protesters who have vowed not to give up until Kavanaugh's confirmation is defeated:

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