This is what the line to get in looked like.
I know that crowd size is an uncertain indicator in politics. After all, if crowd size at rallies was determinative, Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, would be the heavy favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee. That skepticism of crowd size goes double for Trump since there are plenty of people who go to see him simply for the spectacle or to be near a celebrity, not because they have any designs on voting for him.
And yet, the willingness of so many people to wait so long in such cold temperatures simply for the chance to see Trump speak would suggest that the idea that his supporters won't be the sort of people to sit through the long caucus process of Iowa or turn out to vote in the frigid cold of New Hampshire might be misguided.
Ditto the idea that Trump's bubble would burst or the ardor with which his backers regard him would fade. The Iowa caucuses are in 27 days. New Hampshire votes in 35 days. The time is now, and people are still showing up in droves to see — and cheer — Trump.
Crowds like the one in Lowell on Monday should make clear to the last few lingering doubters that the Trump phenomenon isn't going away as voters begin the process of picking a Republican presidential nominee. Hell, he might even be getting stronger.