Who Voted Against Gay Marriage in North Carolina?

A map of the counties in North Carolina that voted against a gay-marriage ban suggests education played a part in the vote.

A new image making its way around the internet today—the day after North Carolina voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage—makes clear the difference between those who voted against the ban and those who voted for it. As you can see on the map above, all of the counties that voted no are in close proximity to North Carolina's largest colleges. Though the image was created before the final count was in, and two of the counties in red—New Hanover and Guilford—eventually swung yes, they did so by the smallest of margins. In New Hanover, it was a difference of just 329 votes.

Though this image might seem like some kind of coincidental cheap shot—"Only uneducated people don't support gay marriage!"—real studies gird its point. The Pew Research Center found in 2010 that support for gay marriage is directly proportional to educational achievement (it's also correlated with age, so it makes sense that students voted no). While the majority of college graduates believe gay marriage should be legal, only 46 percent of people with some college experience agreed. And among people with a high school diploma or less, just 34 percent supported gay marriage.