Buttigieg campaign introduces contest for lowest donation

Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' Buttigieg to join striking South Carolina McDonald's workers next week MORE's presidential campaign announced a new contest to drum up fundraising: who can give the Democratic candidate the lowest contribution. 

In a email to supporters Tuesday evening, Buttigieg's campaign wrote that the donor who contributes the lowest amount in the hours ahead — provided that no other donor matches the contribution amount — will win a prize from the campaign.

"All you have to do to win is donate the smallest amount that nobody else donates," reads the email. "Multiple donations are allowed; just be creative, pick a unique donation amount, and you could win."

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Some Twitter users pointed out that the effect of the contest would be to lower the South Bend, Ind., mayor's average donation amount. Other candidates, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Prominent Texas Latina endorses Warren Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' MORE (I-Vt.), have frequently touted their low average donations on the debate stage to highlight grassroots support for their campaigns.

"The Pete for America Innovation Team out there working hard on Christmas Eve coming up with gimmicks to lower his average donation amount this quarter. Funny stuff," wrote Tim Tagaris, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign.

"This is so transparently hilarious. Wow, his average donation was lower this quarter... it’s a Christmas miracle!" Tagaris added.

The fundraising contest comes just days after Buttigeig faced heat from his fellow Democrats onstage at Thursday's Democratic debate over a fundraiser in a wine cave, which was pilloried by rivals such as Andrew YangAndrew YangHillicon Valley: Intel officials warned lawmakers Russia interfering in 2020 | Pompeo condemns Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia | Tech activists see Kickstarter union as breakthrough | Pentagon agency suffers data breach Manhattan DA investigating new abuse claims against doctor accused by Evelyn Yang March For Our Lives co-founders endorse Sanders MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg unveils billboards to troll Trump ahead of campaign stops John Legend joining Warren in South Carolina next week: report MORE (D-Mass.) as an effort to sway big donors to Buttigieg's campaign while opening up the mayor to special interests.

Buttigeig and Warren in particular have been battling ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The battles over fundraising and donors have prompted new scrutiny of both campaigns. On Tuesday, The Washington Post published a story that focused on contributions from bigger donors that Warren had taken before her presidential campaign.