Your inbox may be overflowing with unsolicited invitations to attend fancy dinners, messages from reality TV stars, and "personal" requests from former presidents—but that doesn't mean you've become incredibly popular overnight.
Rather, it's the end of yet another campaign-fundraising period, and presidential campaigns aiming to bolster their bank accounts are trying all sorts of gimmicks, both old and new, to convince their supporters to fork over a few extra bucks before deadlines hit and they have to publicize their fundraising totals. It's one of the few concrete measures of campaign performance so far, and the large field of Republican hopefuls (not to mention the handful of Democrats running) are doing everything to lure more donors into the fold.
To encourage last-minute donations, Hillary Clinton's campaign emailed supporters last week asking them to enter a contest for the chance to have dinner with the former secretary of State and a friend. Technically, a contribution was not required to sign up, but one email noted that "when you chip in to help build this campaign, you'll also be automatically entered for the chance to join Hillary for dinner."
Ted Cruz's campaign organized a less traditional sweepstakes earlier this month: the chance to spend an afternoon at a shooting range with the senator himself. Again, no contribution was necessary to enter the contest. Still, Cruz couldn't pass up the opportunity to raise some cash. "After you've entered, make a generous Shoot With Ted contribution of $35, $50, $100 or more to my campaign," he wrote in the email.