It’s hard to avoid politics these days with midterm elections approaching. A widely reported July Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris Poll paints a disturbing picture as a large majority of American voters do not want either Joe Biden or Donald Trump to run for president in 2024. That’s significant.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said President Biden should not seek a second term. Reasons given were: he’s been a bad president, he’s too old and they have doubts about his mental fitness. After just 18 months in office, they’ve seen enough. They say he is a liability to the party and he should step aside at the end of his term.

Meanwhile, 61 percent of respondents said former President Trump should not run. Americans said Trump is too erratic, he will further divide the country and 30 percent said he was clearly responsible for the Jan. 6 assault on the nation’s Capitol building. Many believe he lacks a moral compass.

Most reasonable people cannot abide by Trump’s abrasive and boorish demeanor. Trump has covert narcissism and always wants to be the center of attention. He antagonizes most Americans with his preoccupation with the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Like Biden, he is a net liability to the party going forward.

Moderate Republicans wish Trump would step aside but he should also vigorously endorse a conservative candidate with more media savvy, more diplomatic adroitness and more general appeal. They want a new face for the Republican Party. Failure to move forward may divide the party and hand the Democrats a win in 2024.

Trump does have a loyal following. However, he hasn’t shown a willingness to go away quietly. Many Republicans are quietly hoping the Jan. 6 hearings will help solve their Trump problem. If Trump is charged with a crime by Attorney General Merrick Garland, Trump would be denied the opportunity to run in 2024.

The public is not happy. Seventy-five percent think the country is moving in the wrong direction. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll said Biden’s job-approval rating sits at just 33 percent. The Rear Clear Politics composite index had his job-approval at 38 percent.

The survey said Biden has failed at handling the economy/inflation, getting legislation passed in Congress and securing the southern border. The Harris Poll showed only 30 percent of Democrats would vote for him in a Democratic presidential primary, according to Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harris survey.

Many Americans are ready for younger candidates. Both Biden, 79, and Trump, 76, are too old. So are Bernie Sanders, 80, and Hillary Clinton,74. Vice President Kamala Harris, 57, is younger but her job-approval rating may be even lower than Biden’s. Who else might want this impossible, thankless job?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, 54, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, 57, are testing the waters. There are Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 40, and Senators Elizabeth Warren, 73, and Amy Klobuchar, 62, who have presidential ambitions.

On the Republican side, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 44, is talking like a challenger to Trump. Other notables are Mike Pence, 63, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, 55, Mike Pompeo, 58, Nikki Haley, 50, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, 66, Rep. Liz Cheney, 56, and Sen.Tom Cotton, 45. They just need Trump to exit the stage and remove the negativity that surrounds him. The party’s candidate could use Trump’s endorsement, but not his bluster.

Could there be an independent, third party candidate if we get a repeat of Biden-Trump in 2024? Is that an acceptable option? Is that the best we can hope for?

The polls say 60 percent of voters would consider a moderate independent candidate. How about a moderate Republican and a moderate Democrat joining forces in an effort to unite the country? By party, 53 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats said they would consider a ticket featuring moderates.