“There’s no doubt we have to win the Catholic vote. It is essential to our reelection,” said Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

But the state of the Catholic vote four days before the Nov. 3 election underscores the immense challenge the Trump campaign has faced in its year-long attempt to lock in religious voters who appear inclined to support Biden — despite approving of the president’s job performance — out of sheer frustration with Trump’s personality and concerns over the division his presidency has sowed.

A mid-October survey by EWTN and RealClearPolitics showed Trump with a 47 percent approval rating among Catholics, but only 40 percent support when respondents were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today. Ditto for a Marquette Law School poll released last week where Trump’s job approval rating (52 percent) among Wisconsin Catholics exceeded their support for his reelection (48 percent).

“If he loses, it’s because people who otherwise support him are just sick of it all,” said one adviser to the Trump campaign. “It’s because of voters who kind of like Trump, but ‘just can’t take this anymore.’ It’s because voters will choose a calm Thanksgiving dinner with their Democratic and Republican relatives over another policy victory or Supreme Court justice.”