These Appalachian towns aren’t collapsing due to mismanagement. They were built to extract natural resources that are no longer extractable, and they were too far from any other economic activity to pivot, so the inhabitants left behind their nice brick buildings and moved on, just like the abandoned gold-rush towns of Nevada and Arizona.
Interesting you mention this.
WV hit my radar a few weeks ago when a youtube video popped up about this exact situation you describe and I had the exact same thought. I am already in one of those red states but WV sure does look like it has some nice scenery.
Florida feels like the place to go for anyone in RW Twitter's broad demo (25+ years old, upper-middle class, codefag or academic) who doesn't have an explicit attachment to a different region - while DeSantis was a disappointment and then some, the state being marketed by the media nationwide as the new right-wing mecca for the past three years, along with more favorable demographics than Texas, has led to a significant influx of high-agency, engaged right-wingers.
While any winning right-wing faction will have to center around plumbers, facebook moms, and electricians (regardless of what certain post-2020 twitter cliques have to say about that), the specific demographic that knows what a Substack is seems to have a perfect fit in FL. There's a pre-built tech industry and a relatively non-hostile set of prestigious-enough universities, real estate that will get more valuable with time even if any given project goes full Reddit Island, and an active, motivated, modern right wing that doesn't need someone charismatic and humble to build it from scratch in order to stand a fighting chance in the coming years.
Texas needs more political activists because it's the only state that is poised to lead the red states out of the union. https://secession.substack.com/p/poll-proves-texas-independence-is
If you put your colony near the Gulf of Mexico (eg. between Houston and the Louisiana line), your colony could be poised to secede even without consent of a state if civil order really breaks down: https://redstatesecession.org/this-is-where-the-2nd-american-revolution-might-start