Discuss as:

Iowa caucuses are too close to call

Dave Weaver / AP

Voters debate during a caucus of precinct 42 near Smithland, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Ron Paul receives a handwritten vote from Iowa Republicans in the Keokuk County Courthouse in the first contest of the 2012 US presidential nominating process in provincial Sigourney, Iowa on Tuesday.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Stephanie Atwood (C) hands out paper ballots to Iowa Republicans in the Keokuk County Courthouse in Iowa on Tuesday night.

Jonathan Gibby / Getty Images

Local resident Matthew Sorenson registers at the West Des Moines Precinct 1 and 2 GOP Caucus held at the Seven Flags Event Center on Tuesday night.

msnbc.com staff reports:

Iowans began gathering throughout the state at 8 p.m. ET to caucus for their preferred candidate for the GOP nomination. As of that time, NBC News projects the race as too close to call.

NBC also projects that, based on early vote totals and entrance polling, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are competing to win the Iowa caucus.

Read the full story here.

NBC's Ron Mott explains what a caucus is and how the caucus process works.