With the municipal elections just a month away, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is the only one of the four mayoral candidates (as of press time) to have assembled a strong online presence, with a fleshed-out campaign website (www.mitchlan-drieu.com), a Facebook page and two active Twitter presences (@MayorLandrieu and @MitchLandrieu) with a total of more than 26,000 followers.
Danatus King, an attorney and president of the NAACP New Orleans Branch, has had a website for months (www.dkingformayor.com) and a Facebook page, but his Twitter account (@KingForMayor), which was created in October, has been dormant since then — with only four tweets and eight followers.
Former judge Michael Bagneris has put up a placeholder website (www.bagnerisformayor.com) and created his "Bagneris For Mayor" Facebook page Dec. 17, though he's not yet on Twitter.
Perennial candidate and comedian Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno — who ran for mayor in 2002, 2006 and 2010 — has neither a campaign website nor a Twitter presence, relying entirely on Facebook to convey his singular message. As in previous years, Bruno's slogan is "A Troubled Man For Troubled Times," and his page urges supporters, "We need any help you can give, from pole dancing to begging in the streets."
While an online presence is just one strategy in a modern political campaign, the Pew Research Journalism Project studied the issue in a 2012 report and found that candidates who used new technologies in their campaigns tended to find success. "From Franklin Roosevelt's use of radio, to John F. Kennedy's embrace of television, to Ronald Reagan's recognition of the potential for arranging the look and feel of campaign events in the age of satellites and videotape," Pew reported, "candidates quicker to grasp the power of new technology have used that to convey a sense that they represented a new generation of leadership more in touch with where the country was heading." — KEVIN ALLMAN