Yet his poll numbers continued to tumble. Among white Catholic voters, a survey this week showed Trump’s lead over Biden narrowing to just five percentage points — an alarming development for the candidate who carried this group by a 23-point margin in 2016.

But in the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fierce champion of women’s rights and left-wing legal icon, Trump and his conservative allies believe they’ve found a political Hail Mary.

On one hand, Trump and his aides are betting that Catholic voters will feel enough of a kinship with either of the women he is eyeing for the vacancy — 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, or 11th Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, a Catholic mother of three — that his nomination of one of them will lock in a majority of the Catholic vote just in time for the November election.

On the other hand, they are hoping Catholic voters who have already swung toward Biden, due to grievances with the president’s behavior or policies, will return to Trump’s column if the former vice president remains quiet as Senate Democrats and progressive activists knock the faith of his impending nominee.