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Sweet: John Edwards, Howard Dean statements. Giddens issues final turnout number: 239,000, almost double 2004.

DES MOINES, IA.–From the hardworking Carrie Giddens, the Communications Director of the Iowa Democratic Party:

“With 100 percent of the precincts reporting we are seeing record turnout with 239,000 caucus attendees.”

That’s almost double the 124,000 in 2004.

Edwards statement below as well as one from Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean…

— Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement after the Iowa caucuses:

“Today is a great day for Democrats. Voters want change in our country, and while all of the Democratic presidential candidates are offering change, the Republican field is offering nothing more than a third term of George W. Bush. Record turnout for Democrats — nearly twice as many people participated in the Democratic caucus as in the Republican caucus — shows that voters are excited about our candidates and that our Party is strong. And it’s no surprise that independents in Iowa and across the country are participating in the Democratic process. They want a strong candidate who will change our country for the better, and they can’t find that with a Republican. The unprecedented grassroots enthusiasm for Democrats we saw today shows that piece by piece, we are rebuilding our Party. As we head towards November, it’s clear that Americans will elect a Democratic president to bring our country the change we need.”