The Obama administration has set a goal of adding 8 million college graduates by 2020. There are, of course, good policy reasons to do so (whatever Rick Santorum says). But as Leo Drutman points out, if you are of a Machiavellian mindset you might discern an ulterior motive too:
Drutman (of the Progressive Policy Institute, a liberal think-tank) has a series of similar charts, showing the opposite relationship between graduates and Republican voters, and an even more significant relationship between college education and self-identifying as 'liberal' (or 'conservative'):
So, in short, the more college graduates in a state, the more Democratic and liberal it is.
Why is this? Liberals would smugly say that it's a simple function of learning more about the world. Conservatives would argue that it's a function of social and ideological indoctrination. The truth is likely to be more complex than either narrative allows, but the relationship is substantial and striking.
These are just correlations, of course; it's not certain that if you create more graduates, you create more Democrats. But if the relationship is causal, then - Drutman calculates - creating another 8 million graduates would give the Democrats an incremental 3% edge over their Republican adversaries.
Full analysis here.