Democrats millions shy of goal for convention: Report

Ed Rendell
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

With the Democratic National Convention barely two months away and the remaining contenders locked in a fierce competition, the party is said to be millions of dollars short in funding needed to meet its $64 million goal, according to a report in BuzzFeed.

The news comes as another blow to a Democratic contest that has become increasingly fractious, with front runner Hillary Clinton continuing to fend off a stiff challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Recent polling in California, the next big state to hold a primary vote, shows the two locked in a dead heat.

The publication cited a source close to Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's former governor and chairman of the host committee in Philadelphia, saying that the platform that will officially send the Democratic nominee into battle for the general election is "$15 to $16 million" shy of its stated threshold.

Rendell responded to BuzzFeed that the figure is closer to $10 million, but acknowledged that it was a "legitimate" shortfall.

"Including pledges from companies I know are going to write the check, we're $9 to $10 million down," Rendell told the site. He added the city of Philadelphia and the federal government's refusal to help defray any of the costs was making the gap even more daunting.

"So we're down $25.75 million," Rendell told Buzzfeed. "It's been a heavy lift."

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Clinton holds a commanding lead in delegates, but Sanders has refused to concede, and his tone has sharpened in recent days.

On Saturday, the Sanders campaign issued a call to the DNC calling for the removal of two of the former Secretary of State's most ardent surrogates, former Congressman Barney Frank and Connecticut Governor Dan Molloy, from top positions within the convention.

Rendell also placed blame on Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee. Rendell explained that corporations usually donate to both Democratic and Republican conventions evenly, but that Trump's polarizing and bombastic style was making companies pull back from contributing. If one party sees a pullback in contributions, the other does as well, the former governor said.

The DNC did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The full report can be found on BuzzFeed's website.