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Newscast 10.30.23: Donald Trump still leads GOP presidential race among likely caucus goers, says a new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll

A new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows 43% of likely Republican caucus-goers say Donald Trump as their first choice for president, up from 42% in an August Iowa Poll.

However, the former president says he is not taking the Iowa caucuses for granted. He was in Sioux City Sunday afternoon for his eighth Iowa campaign event in a little more than a month.

At the same time, support for Nikki Haley has grown in Iowa. The former United Nations ambassador has pulled even with Florida Gov. And it’s a 10-point jump for Haley, who was at 6%. Ron DeSantis in what has become a heated battle for second place in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. The candidates are now tied for second place with 16%.

Election Day is just over a week away and election officials say that means it’s time for absentee voters to get their ballots in the mail or make other plans to have their votes counted.

Absentee ballots must be received by county auditors by 8pm on Election Day November 7th in order to be counted.

Amanda Waske is the Ringgold County Auditor and president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors. She recommends allowing at least a week to send a ballot by mail.

Another option, she says, is returning the ballot to a drop box.

" There’s several counties that offer drop boxes, we do here in our county. There’s a drop box right outside of our main west entrance that’s on 24/7 video surveillance and checked four times a day, seven days a week through the election."

Absentee ballots can tracked online at voter-ready-dot-iowa-dot-gov to check whether they’ve been received.

Early in-person voting also continues across the state through next Monday.

The Great Plains lost 1.6 million acres of grasslands in 2021.

A World Wildlife Fund report released last week shows that grom 2012 to 2021, grassland conversion in the Great Plains totaled 32 million acres, or 50,000 square miles.

The Plowprint report identified row-crop expansion as the leading factor in grassland conversion, resulting in a loss larger than the state of Delaware in 2021 alone.

The WWF’s Northern Great Plains program is advocating the preservation of grasslands as part of the solution to climate change.

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