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Companies await tense elections

US business and politics

Bush, Jeffords and voters: nail-biting
times ahead for the Senate and
House of Representatives

US pharmaceuticals companies would rather see a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, while specialty pharmaceuticals and mortgage finance companies would prefer it if the Democrats retained control of the Senate and won back the House. Tobacco companies wouldn't want the Democrats in control, managed care companies are after the status quo, and the defence and aerospace industry is bound to do well whoever is in control.

These are the sectors with most to win or lose from the congressional elections on November 5 according to a research report from Goldman Sachs's Washington and economics teams led by Joan Woodward.

It will be a nail-baiting few weeks for them, however, as the outcome for both chambers looks set to be a close-run affair. Except for the first four months of the Bush administration, Washington politics have been in gridlock since the Republicans won back control of both the House and the Senate in 1994.

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