Massachusetts governor race another sign of Democratic weakness

While much attention has been focused on the Massachusetts Senatorial contest to take over the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy (where the Republican candidate in this bluest of blue states may only be trailing the lackluster Democratic candidate by single digits) further drama for Democrats is happening in the governor's race.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is a close friend of Barack Obama's (they also shared the same campaign strategist, David Axelrod, who peddled the same lines for Obama as he did for Patrick). Patrick's policies are very similar to those promoted by Obama. The health care policies followed in Massachusetts (passed when Romney was governor, but supported by Patrick) share similarities with those of the Reid and Pelosi bills . These policies and Patrick are both deeply unpopular.

Conversely, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charles Baker is raking in the dough.

In one of the most aggressive political fund-raising pushes in recent memory, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charles D. Baker has amassed a $1.85 million war chest over roughly five months of campaigning, tapping into a broad range of supporters and establishing himself as a major threat to Governor Deval Patrick's reelection bid.

Baker doubled, in less than half the time, what Patrick raised for the entirety of 2009, despite a fund-raising visit by President Obama this past fall for the Democratic governor. Baker's coffers currently hold more than 10 times the amount in Patrick's campaign account.

Baker's fund-raising haul, which has broken records for a nonincumbent candidate who is not yet a party nominee, provides another jolt for Democrats already discouraged over Patrick's underwhelming poll numbers and comparatively slow pace of fund-raising.

Last month, typically the toughest of the year to collect political donations, Baker reported raising a whopping $726,000, ending the year with a donor base of 7,449 people. Raising money every year is key for candidates in Massachusetts, because the annual contribution limit for individuals is $500.

The fund-raising success has allowed the campaign to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars already to position itself for this election year.

Baker's feat exceeds the expectations his aides had when the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care decided to jump into the 2010 governor's race.

Baker also helped raise about $500,000 for the state Republican Party, which has $271,000 in its state account.

Pilgrim Health Care is a health care organization that offers HMO, POS, and POP plans in New England. These are the same type of bogey-men that the Democratic Party demonize; yet the head of one of them is shattering fundraising records. This is a signal.

Voter disgust with the policies perpetrated  by Democrats in Congress has begun to be reflected not just as the federal level but now is sparking a backlash at the state level. The policies followed by Patrick and by Governor David Paterson in New York are similar to the policies being hoisted on the nation as a whole. We are seeing how following Reid and Pelosi has taken a toll on the rash of Democratic senators deciding not to run for re-election; with Ben Nelson's poll numbers; with a series of polls showing plummeting voter support for Democrats.

We are seeing this dynamic at work on the state level in the bluest of blue states.

Obama,Reid, and Pelosi are leading the lemmings off the cliff. Bon voyage!