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Key senators undecided as Senate poised to vote on Kavanaugh

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks about the FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Thursday...
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, enters a secure underground room in the Capitol to see a new FBI backgro...
A demonstrator protests against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and chant slogans during a rally in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Buildin...
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks to the media about the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations a...
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (...

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks about the FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Thursday...

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, enters a secure underground room in the Capitol to see a new FBI backgro...

A demonstrator protests against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and chant slogans during a rally in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Buildin...

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks to the media about the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations a...

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is taking a crucial vote Friday to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Key GOP senators remain undecided amid allegations of sexual misconduct and intense protests dividing the nation.

The 53-year-old judge made what were in effect closing arguments by acknowledging that he became "very emotional" when forcefully denying the allegations at a Judiciary Committee hearing last week. But in an op-ed published Thursday he insists he remains the same "hardworking, even-keeled" person as always.

Tensions are high at the Capitol, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing ahead with little room for error. Republicans have a slim 51-49 hold on the Senate. A final vote is expected Saturday.