Can President Obama survive the anti-incumbent wave that has taken out several European governments over the last year, led to the defeat of French President Sarkozy, punished German Chancellor Merkel’s party in regional elections, and most recently the loss of the U.S. Senate’s most credible voice on foreign policy Richard Lugar?

Economic anxiety is generally bad for incumbents, and the Obama team is working hard to make the case that a Romney presidency would make things worse. And certainly the American economy isn’t suffering to the degree it is in Europe. But the political/economic situation the President faces is more akin to that of Bush 41 in 1992 ( a weak recovery that voters barely noticed) than that of Bill Clinton in 1996 (robust growth led by the dot.com boom).

But Barack Obama might find some solace in the reelection of British conservative Prime Minister John Major in 1992 – he faced an uphill fight in an ugly economy amid fights over European economic integration. Major survived where Bush 41 couldn’t; largely because his general election opponents were not credible. Of course, that changed several years later with the emergence of Tony Blair and the “New” Labor Party.

There is no ideological consistency to the anti-incumbent zeitgeist this year, unlike say the Reagan-Thatcher era or the Bill Clinton-Tony Blair pairing. In 2012 French voters turned left, while Spanish voters turned right, while Greek voters are just confused. Voters in America are simply angry and scared, which isn’t good for any incumbent anywhere.