How can Biden save America from Trump's return to the White House? Drop out of the race.

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The November election is the rematch America doesn’t want: the two oldest and among the most unpopular candidates in our history.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Republicans are stuck with former President Donald Trump. Unless he dies or is incapacitated medically, he’s their nominee. He may have to win to stay out of jail.

But there is a way for President Joe Biden to step aside, to voluntarily remove himself for the good of the nation and the party.

Biden could announce, anytime this summer, that he’s out. He could use the same logic that got him the nomination in 2020. He sincerely and accurately believed that he was the Democrat with the best chance to beat Trump. Now, he is one of the few national Democrats who could get Trump reelected.

Battleground state polls look bad for Biden

President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One in Romulus, Mich., on May 19, 2024.
President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One in Romulus, Mich., on May 19, 2024.

Recent polling of Biden against Trump looks ugly. Biden has low support among young, Black and Hispanic voters, crucial votes in swing states. Biden is seen as too old to serve a second term by many voters.

Some perceptions of candidates can be changed. But voters are unlikely to decide that Biden is younger and more vigorous than they thought.

Biden's poll numbers are awful. America, brace for a Trump victory in November.

If Democrats were to nominate Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, he'd beat Trump like LeBron James posting up Kevin Hart. There are many others, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Trump would look old and unhinged next to their youthful competence and sober characters.

And while Vice President Kamala Harris, who polls worse against Trump than Biden does, would have been a serious threat to take the nomination in open primaries, there is no chance a convention of Biden delegates would select her. They want to beat Trump too badly to take that risk.

What about giving up all the advantages of incumbency? Truth be told, there aren’t many this year.

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Biden has had, by most standard measures, a pretty successful presidency. But he’s being blamed for high inflation, the U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. A new face works better on intractable problems like the Middle East.

Wouldn’t an open national convention be a chaotic disaster for the Democrats?

Let’s learn from Trump. When his most prominent rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, refused to endorse him at the 2016 Republican convention, which had not happened in the modern era, Trump didn’t panic. He knew that drama makes great TV. He was right.

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An open Democratic convention would make great TV

Modern conventions are scripted and boring affairs that struggle to get viewers. An open convention with delegates rooting for Harris, Whitmer, Shapiro and others would be amazing TV. The nation would be spellbound by great floor speeches, unexpected endorsements from politicians and celebrities, rallies, music and marches.

Presidential polls are useless. Will Trump win? Will Biden? Nobody has a crystal ball.

Mr. President, you’re one of the few Americans old enough to remember when conventions were fascinating and powerful. They’ve become predictable and almost pointless. Why not pull a surprise on the Republicans, and let the convention pick the nominee for the first time in decades?

Why not go down in history as the guy who beat Trump twice and saved our republic?

The first time you beat him by running. This second time, you can beat him by not running.

Jeremy Mayer is an associate professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, where he also directs the master's and Ph.D. programs in political science.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden's polling is horrible. He should drop out to beat Trump.