Will Obama Stay Relevant?

After eight years in the White House, former President Barack Obama has left the building.

But he’s not finished yet.

While he told Barbara Walters in 2013 that he was done running for office, Obama plans to tackle many of the issues he battled with as leader of the country, such as immigration and gun control.

But will the former president retain his purported ability to speak to and for the people?

Google Trends says maybe.

A comparison of Google searches for President Donald Trump and Barack Obama shows a stark difference at the time of the 2012 and 2016 elections.

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Searches for Obama did peak around the time of the 2012 election, but those numbers are nowhere near the number of searches for Donald Trump before and during the 2016 election. In fact, searches for Trump were more numerous in the months leading up to November 2016 in comparison to searches for Obama in 2012, which picked up much closer to the election.

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In the past 90 days, searches for Obama have remained higher than during the years of his presidency. While his numbers are far lower than Trump’s, they peak at the same time. This data seems to show that people care what our former president has to say about our current president’s recent actions. In this way, Obama may continue to be a public voice.

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Lyft vs. Uber in South Bend

Dakota Connell-Ledwon
South Bend

You’ve probably used Uber, the ride-sharing app that lets you order a car to pick you up at your exact location. But there’s a new competitor in town–Lyft expanded its operations to South Bend last Thursday.

In a comparison of Google searches using Google Trends, Uber remained dominant after Lyft’s launch.

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The graph shows that Google searches for Lyft increased after its launch at noon on Jan. 26–perhaps because the company advertised a $5 coupon promotion for riders beforehand–and searches for Uber were still higher but comparable at the time.

Moving into the weekend, the gap between searches for the two companies widened, with Uber peaking early in the morning on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Lyft experienced similar but much smaller peaks.

A city with multiple universities such as the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend is rich ground for ride-sharing companies. Freshman at the University of Notre Dame are prohibited from having a car on campus during their first semester. Students without cars have utilized Uber or taxi companies to get around in the past.

Google Trends will be useful in following interest in Lyft over the coming weeks–will it continue rising in popularity and cut into Uber’s ride-sharing monopoly on South Bend? Or will it fail to take off?