Okay. We're all for candidates getting excited about polls showing them in first place. And people were certainly excited about this Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweet about a new Bloomberg poll; it has been retweeted more than 1,300 times since Sunday afternoon.
But that "first place" comes with a couple giant caveats.
1) He's at 12 percent. The Republican primary field is very crowded, yes, and most polls show the GOP "leader" in the teens. But this is about the lowest we've seen any "leader" of a state.
2) He's tied with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 12 percent. So you can claim first place, but you might want to throw a "tied for" in there.
3) If you factor in the rather large margin of error, he's basically tied with Donald Trump. Trump is somehow at eight percent in this poll, for reasons we'll never understand. Because the margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent, this means Trump could technically be as high as 13 percent and in first place, and Paul could technically be as low as seven percent. We're not saying that's the case -- just that the margin is so big that it's basically a 10-way virtual tie for first place (a virtual tie that includes Carly Fiorina at three percent).
Paul is probably excited because it's been a while since he's been at or near the top of the polls. And in general, we defend polls even when people say they are meaningless this far out, because you can generally glean at least something from them.
But a poll that shows you in a virtual tie with The Donald probably isn't worth promoting too much.