TAMPA - If you haven't yet made a campaign contribution this year, maybe a chance to win a night of partying with Beyonce in New York City will loosen your wallet.
Even a small donation on Barack Obama's website could have bought you a chance to attend that star-studded fundraiser.
"It's the Barack Obama lottery, very little to enter and your chances of winning may be about the same as the Florida Lottery," said USF instructor and former campaign consultant Wayne Garcia.
Garcia says enticing small donors is key to the Obama strategy.
"He doesn't have the connections to the high-end donors anyway, so why pursue them when you can go out and get a bunch of people to give you three dollars and play to their expectation," said Garcia.
The Campaign Finance Institute reports that up until the conventions, 37 percent of Obama's campaign cash came from individual donations under $200. For Mitt Romney, only 17% of contributions were that small.
The Obama campaign has already raffled off tickets to fundraisers with Sarah Jessica Parker and George Clooney -- air fare and hotel included. But Mitt Romney is also getting into the sweepstakes game.
This week, for as little as $15, you can win a chance to ride with Mitt Romney on his private jet dubbed "Hair Force One."
The big money from donors like George Soros for the Democrats and Sheldon Adelson for the Republicans remains very influential. But the outreach to smaller contributors is getting more creative and aggressive, some say maybe too much so.
"I don't want to say it cheapens the process, but it certainly is changing the process to where it's more pop culture than democracy and in that sense, people sometimes don't take it as seriously," said Garcia.
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