Obama holds a small lead over McCain, 4 months before the election, but previous summer polls don't always predict the outcome in November. (AP Photo)
(CNN) - The race for the White House remains tight as American heads into the July 4 weekend, a new CNN poll of polls shows.
In the latest CNN survey of four recent national polls, Barack Obama holds a 6 point lead over John McCain, 48 percent to 42 percent. That represents a slight increase for the Illinois senator over the last week: in a CNN Poll of polls released last Friday, Obama topped the Arizona senator by 5 points.
“As we hit the July 4 holiday weekend, the presidential polls seem to have settled into a stable pattern,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Obama’s lead in our polling average has been holding relatively steady around the five percent mark for almost a month. The question now is whether that lead will hold — or possibly even expand — as we turn our attention to the conventions and the campaigns start advertising more.”
The presumptive presidential nominee has clearly increased his lead from one month ago: in a CNN poll of polls conducted June 2, when Hillary Clinton was still in the race, Obama led McCain by only one point, 46 percent to 45 percent.
But how predictive are presidential polls four months before the election? Not very.
Consider where the presidential race stood in 2004 heading into the July 4 weekend: then, John Kerry held a 4 point lead over Bush in a CNN poll of polls, 49 percent to 45 percent, a lead that evaporated by November. And in 2000, Bush was up 6 points over Gore at this point in the summer — and the outcome that year, of course, was one of the narrowest electoral victories in the nation's history.