Now that the feds have called an election, council lefties like Joe Mihevc who have been relying on the support of Grit MPs like Carolyn Bennett to put them over the top against Tory challengers are finding their volunteer ranks thinning.
Mihevc, who's facing Rob Davis in St. Paul's, figures the recent endorsements of former York mayor Frances Nunziata and rabbi Gunther Plaut, a heavy in the Jewish community, should more than compensate for the shortage in people power.
Mihevc is going to need Plaut's clout to fend off those anti-Semitism suggestions rival Davis has been tossing his way.
Rule number one from the Davis book of campaigning: when the going gets tough, the tough get down and dirty.
Davis, it seems, has been having problems mustering support. He's losing the sign wars.
And curiously, the mayor's minions, who've been dispatched far and wide to help political allies, are staying away from the Mihevc-Davis fray.
"There are ways the mayor's office could be getting more involved but aren't," says one City Hall insider. This source says Davis's penchant for grandstanding at the expense of the mayor and then voting right along with him may have something to do with the chill Davis is feeling.
Part of the black vote that's helped Davis in the past also looks like it may be deserting him now, with long-time lions in the community Lennoxx Farrell and Charles Roach coming out to support Mihevc.
It's all made for some nasty backbiting on the part of Davis, who during a brief telephone interview raises that anti-Jewish bugaboo, namely Farrell and Roach's work with the local chapter of the Nation of Islam. Farrell brought a contingent from the NOI to meet with the mayor recently.
"I'm surprised," says Davis, "that Mihevc would take that kind of endorsement."
Mihevc, who's been hearing the anti-Semitic label ascribed to him while canvassing in a predominantly Jewish swath of the ward south of Eglinton, says it's not the first time Davis has "played the race card."
It's a particularly troubling circumstance for Mihevc, a theologian whose master's studies focused on the Holocaust. Can this one get any uglier?