Soon, the front lawns of the Twin Cities will begin to fill up with signs proclaiming homeowners' political affiliations, announcing who they want to win local and national office.
These will generally be of the professional, mass-produced variety.
Out in rural Minnesota, many people opt for a do-it-yourself approach, as is their habit in most things in life. In farm country, the homemade sign adds a personal touch to politics.
One problem: Some people's personal touch will make you want to take a shower.
Consider this signage, spotted outside Montevideo in west-central Minnesota. As photographed by Paul Schwarz, head of the Chippewa County DFL Party chapter, this two-part joke manages to be outdated in both its thinking and punchlines.
"PANTSUITS SHE NEEDS A DRESS," says one sign.
"A CLEAN SPOTLESS DARK BLUE DRESS," says another.
"WHAT THE HELL'S WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY," says everyone.
For you kids, the "spotless blue dress" line is a reference to the infamous piece of physical evidence that proved Bill Clinton had had an affair with Monica Lewinksy. To Schwarz, it's just another piece of physical evidence of the depths of sexist rhetoric against the Democratic nominee.
"There's been a lot of negativity against Hillary Clinton," says Schwarz, who originally shared his photos with the Bluestem Prairie blog. "There's been a steady drip of attacks, like these signs, against [Hillary] for the last 30 years."
The original grossness about Hillary — tons of discussion about her looks, and style of dress, among other obsessions — can be traced back to radio goons like Rush Limbaugh. Schwarz has a pretty good idea who to blame for its recurrence these days.
"With Donald Trump, this kind of stuff is out there every day," he says. "I think we need to expose it for what it is, and for what kind of man Trump is. This is what has become acceptable."
Schwarz expects Clinton and Trump to run neck-and-neck in his neck of the woods. (In 2012, Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by less than 2 percent in Chippewa County; in neighboring Lac Qui Parle, where this sign was seen, Obama's margin was 0.9 percent.) Schwarz said local Democrats will try to focus on issues when reaching potential voters, but he wants the public to be aware of the tone of the campaign — from the GOP presidentail candidate on down.
He expects things will only get worse between now and November.
"I'm not worried about it," Schwarz says. "I feel disgusted by the potential of it, but it’ll expose itself for what it is. I think you'll see that down-ticket Republicans are going to try to distance themselves from rhetoric at the top of the ticket."