March 25th, 2008
02:29 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain, Obama hold donor sweepstakes

(CNN) – The end of the month marks the close of the latest campaign fundraising period – and as the deadline looms, presidential candidates are offering some major face time in a bid to boost their cash haul.

Sen. John McCain announced Tuesday that a lucky donor will have the chance to join him on his campaign bus as it makes his “Service to America” tour next week.

“As a token of my appreciation for your financial support, you will be entered to win this seat aboard the Straight Talk Express if you make a contribution before midnight on March 31st,” McCain wrote in an e-mail to donors.

The Arizona senator was not alone in trying to take advantage of the upcoming reporting deadline. Sen. Barack Obama sent an e-mail to supporters Monday that encouraged them to donate by March 31 in order to be one of four supporters who will be picked to have dinner with the Illinois senator, who held a similar “Dinner with Barack” fund-raising effort last summer.

Sen. Hillary Clinton held a fund-raising sweepstakes last fall that offered donors the chance to have a private lunch with the New York senator and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

McCain lagged far behind Sens. Clinton and Obama in fund-raising during the month of February, according to reports filed with the FEC. Obama raised $55 million last month, Clinton raised nearly $35 million and McCain raised $11 million.

–CNN’s Abbi Tatton and Martina Stewart