Patrick insiders say the governor’s campaign people are horrified by Brown’s surge, considering that Patrick is facing a candidate eerily similar to Brown in Republican health-care honcho Charlie Baker, not to mention a well-funded moderate Democrat in independent candidate Treasurer Tim Cahill.

The thinking goes that if Brown, a political lightweight before this race, can energize the undecideds and frustrated Dems to steal Ted Kennedy’s seat over a Democrat, then the tide in the state is truly turning. And not in a good way for the ultra-liberal governor, who knows first-hand about campaigns catching fire and becoming unstoppable.