My Georgetown colleague Fr. Thomas Reese in the Washington Post:
Benedict has appointed 57 percent of the cardinal electors (John Paul II named the rest), so they will most likely elect someone with similar views. In American terms, that means someone to the right of Newt Gingrich on social issues and to the left of Nancy Pelosi on economic issues.
I wonder how W-NOMINATE would score the pope? See here for our earlier political science coverage of the papal election.