Here in Clinton and elsewhere in rural Iowa, there has been no significant transformation to a knowledge-based economy, with wide stretches where the jobs are better suited to those with less education. The result is that a state that thrives on trade has a regrettable net export: some of its best-educated people. “We educate the hell out of our people, but our economy can’t use them, so they leave,” said Dave Swenson, an economist at Iowa State University who has documented the exodus of college graduates from the state.
The Iowa economy still has little use for highly educated work force.
Iowa’s high school graduation rate still leads the nation, but those who go on to four-year colleges often find themselves with limited prospects in areas outside the robust economy of Des Moines and its suburbs and often leave after graduating.
Education level is "driving everything right now"
“Voting behavior of the college educated versus the high school educated is driving everything right now,” said David Kochel, a prominent Republican strategist in the state.