In the days leading up to the North Dakota Republican presidential candidate caucus, Mark Jendrysik, chair of North Dakota University's Department of Political Science and Public Administration, said he had seen no political signs, television commercials or radio ads for any of the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.
It's almost as if there wasn't an election cycle taking place, much less a caucus.
It's muted, it's very muted, Jendrysik said.
Nevertheless, he's calling his state's caucus in favor of Mitt Romney. He said he suspects the former governor of Massachusetts will carry the state with at least a double-digit lead over his three other rivals, because voters in the state prefer a more muted candidate than, say, Rick Santorum.
Romney is expected to take roughly 30 percent of the vote, he said, with the rest of the voters split between Ron Paul and Santorum. Newt Gingrich did not campaign in the state.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul should come in second, but, Jendrysik added, every one of his election predictions has, so far, been off the mark.
Unlike the majority of the contests taking place throughout the country on Super Tuesday, North Dakota's caucus essentially is a beauty contest -- those who are the most visible have the best chances of winning the caucus.
Even if a candidate wins the caucus, however, that does not mean he or she will carry the state's 28 delegates.
The delegates are actually assigned when North Dakota has its own Republican convention on March 30.
The convention usually follows the caucus, but it does not have to, Jendrysik said.
Matt Becker, communications director for the North Dakota Republican Party, put it succinctly: It's really anyone's game.
The North Dakota caucus starts at 5:30 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m., CST. Results are expected to start rolling in roughly half-an-hour later.