Data Crunchers Turn Their Algorithms on the Papal Conclave

U.S. cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley arrives for talks ahead of a conclave to elect a new pope on March 4, 2013 at the Vatican Photograph by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Analytics savant Nate Silver and his team at the FiveThirtyEight blog have hit a wall with the upcoming papal election. They will not be sticking their necks out with a prediction for the conclave vote, citing a dearth of conventional polling data to plug into their models.

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