DCCC using Obama campaign tactics to raise funds

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reusing a fundraising ploy that worked well for President Obama, offering donors added entries into a sweepstakes to win a free trip to inauguration if they donate to the committee.

In an email sent by DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward to "Friend," supporters are offered the option to enter for free to win transportation to Washington and four nights at a hotel for two people over inauguration weekend, and two tickets to an inaugural ball. The prize package would be worth approximately $1,700, according to the email.

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"Wouldn’t it be great to be in DC for Inauguration Weekend?" the email asks.

"Better yet -- wouldn’t it be great if you and a friend scored tickets to an Inaugural Ball with President Obama and the First Lady?"

After entering the sweepstakes, a supporter is given the option to donate $3 or more to enter their name again.

The Obama campaign was known for its frequent sweepstakes fundraising pushes, in which it would give supporters the opportunity to win a seat at a dinner table with the president or a night at one of his star-studded fundraisers for a small donation. Republican Mitt Romney's campaign instituted the tactic as well.

The DCCC email also uses a famous Obama campaign tactic in its subject line, a single, chummy word: "Plans?"

Obama's campaign emails were known for their friendly, casual subject lines like "Hey," which brought in more than $2.6 million in donations, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The DCCC enters a cycle in which it faces difficult fundamentals in its pursuit of the House majority. Republicans suffered some losses in 2012, but redistricting made many districts safer for both parties, whittling the number of competitive districts down to about 30. Republicans currently have a 33-member majority in the House.

To surmount that challenge, the DCCC will need to raise millions in funds — perhaps millions more even than last cycle, when it outraised the NRCC by about $16 million -- because GOP outside groups will focus all their millions on House and Senate races, without a presidential race to draw funds.