Small town Rural America is generally bullshit as a myth, unless, per the link, you're an American Indian living on a Southwestern pueblo or a larger, still semi-isolated non-puebloan tribe, like Sioux, Apaches or Navajos. Arguably, it was a myth before coming to America for White folks; look at the closure of the commons for sheepherders in Britain and Scotland. And, for Tex-ass White folks hating on Ill Eagles, do you want to pay a White (and unionized) workforce double the wages that Ill Eagles, or even legal immigrants get at places like Tyson in towns like Center? (The piece is by Daniel Immerwahr; if you're like me, that's a sign of goodness right there. It's in part a review of a new book exposing these rural myths in more detail.)
In terms of modern politics, yes, the Electoral College. And yes, gerrymandering for US House and state lege seats. But, that doesn't explain all of Democrats' problems, contra Immerwahr. Dear Leader's guns comment in 2008, as well as his backdown from it, are more illustrative. Obama never explained WHY rural White folks were clinging to their guns, nor did he talk about stopping or even slowing down the hollowing out.