Analyst says media more cautious with predictions in 2018

Analyst Ruy Teixeira said in an interview that aired Thursday on "What America's Thinking" that the news media has exercised more caution on predicting the results of the midterm elections after the mistakes it made in 2016. 

"I think there's a certain amount of caution now," Teixeira told Hill.TV's Joe Concha. 

"A probabilistic forecast is a probabilistic forecast. A one-in-five chance that some event happens means there's a one-in-five chance it will happen. It's improbable but it could happen," he continued.

"I think that people are much more attentive to the nature of a probabilistic forecast as opposed to thinking 'well, if it's greater than 50 percent in particular, if it's like 78 percent, that means it's definitely going to happen," he said. "So I think we know better now. 

Election data forecasters largely predicted that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Whoopi Goldberg presses Sanders: 'Why are you still in the race?' Poll: Biden holds slight edge on Trump in Wisconsin MORE would beat then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE in 2016, though they offered a variety of odds on that happening.

FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver said last year that the media had overly confident in Clinton. 

"I have no sympathy for journalists who don’t get probability. That’s unacceptable when there’s a lot of illiterate statements made about probability by journalists," Silver said. 

"By the way, if you look at public opinion, people weren’t actually all that confident in Clinton’s chances. It was the media who were very confident in Clinton’s chances. So it’s a failure of conventional wisdom, first and foremost," he continued. 

— Julia Manchester