Considering the "blue" states are heavily into high tech and white collar jobs while the red states are more heavily vested in blue collar jobs in agriculture and what not, this is not surprising.
Its not that those states are smarter, its just that those states require higher levels of education for residents to make a living in the high cost of living areas of those states.
Many people do not see a need to get a college education if they can work and earn a decent living without one and in the south and midwest, there are many things one can do without a college education and be middle class.
Of course their wages compared to a New Yorker's wages would be lower class or poverty but since the cost of living is so much lower, it all balances out.
Also, there is more competition for fewer jobs in the blue states due to heavy population and an education is something that is almost necessary just to compete with other labor. I have a friend, he is a mailman that makes 45K a year. Never stepped foot in college and went straight to the Post Office after high school. He owns a house, three cars and a Ninja. He has never even desired to "better" himself because he is comfortable where he is.
So, while you may value an education and think it is important where you live, remember that that is not the case everywhere.
Further, Kansas State University has produced more Rhodes scholars than any other university. 99% of the the alumni of KSU is from Kansas or one of the surrounding states (Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri).
And, lastly but not least, who the **** cares. We are all Americans and we all have a role to play in our great society.