A political truism, backed by decades of data, holds that the presidential candidate most successful at persuading Catholic voters usually wins the White House.
Barack Obama won the Catholic vote twice. Donald Trump's path to victory in 2016 ran through Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Catholics make up a disproportionate share of the population. The president's narrow margin of success in those states was fueled by white Catholics.
In 2020, these same Catholic swing voters could end up complicating his reelection. Along with that political calculus, the president's actions have raised a theological and moral question: Can a faithful Catholic vote for Trump?