United States Senate election in Tennessee, 2012

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United States Senate election in Tennessee, 2012
2006 ←
November 6, 2012 → 2018
→ Class 1 Senator

Turnout 52.2% (voting eligible)[1]
  Bobcorker.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Bob Corker Mark E. Clayton
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,506,443 705,882
Percentage 64.9% 30.4%

Tennessee Senate Election Results by County, 2012.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Corker

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Corker

The 2012 United States Senate election in Tennessee took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the general election including the 2012 U.S. presidential election, elections to the House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker won a second term. Corker easily won the Republican primary with 85% of the vote. He faced Democratic Party nominee Mark E. Clayton[2] as well as several third-party candidates and several independents.

Clayton won the Democratic nomination with 30% of the vote, despite raising no money and having a website that was four years out of date.[3] The next day Tennessee's Democratic Party disavowed the candidate over his active role in the Public Advocate of the United States, which they described as a "known hate group". They blamed his victory among candidates for whom the TNDP provided little forums to become known on the fact that his name appeared first on the ballot, and said they would do nothing to help his campaign, urging Democrats to vote for "the write-in candidate of their choice" in November.[4] One of the Democratic candidates, Larry Crim, filed a petition seeking to offer the voters a new primary in which to select a Democratic Nominee based on Democratic Chair Chip Forrester permitting Clayton, a nondemocratic candidate, at the top of ballot to benefit a candidate Forrester recruited and improperly endorsed - Overall - who did not win the primary. Forrester then disavowed Clayton he had allowed on the ballot after he received the most votes. The background is that the TNDP placed little emphasis on the U.S. Senate race in 2012 to replace Corker. Treasurer and Financial benefactor of the TNDP Bill Freeman who was under Forrester actually contributed to Republican Bob Corker's campaign and was later removed from office, followed Forrester's not seeking another term subsequent to the TNDP 2012 fiasco. Crim filed a preliminary motion seeking a temporary restraining order against certification of the results until the merits of the case could be decided. Yet, after a judge denied the temporary restraining order Crim withdrew his petition[5] stating at a news conference outside the Federal Courthouse that the costs of proceeding and the costs of a new primary to the Democratic Party, even if Crim won, would be overwhelming especially given the political realities the party leaders conducted and permitted to the detriment of any Democratic Nominee. Mr. Crim was subsequently elected Chair of Democrats United For Tennessee in 2012.


The incumbent in the race, former Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker, was elected in 2006 with 50.71% of the vote in a win against U.S. representative Harold Ford, Jr..

Republican primary[edit]



  • Fred R. Anderson
  • Mark Twain Clemens, unemployed
  • Bob Corker, incumbent U.S. Senator
  • James Durkan, businessman
  • Brenda Lenard, businesswoman & doctoral student
  • Zach Poskevich, technology consultant



Republican primary results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Corker (Incumbent) 389,483 85.1
Republican Zach Poskevich 28,299 6.2
Republican Fred Anderson 15,942 3.6
Republican Mark Twain Clemens 11,788 2.6
Republican Brenda Lenard 11,378 2.5
Total votes 456,890 100

Democratic primary[edit]




Democratic primary results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark E. Clayton 48,126 30.0
Democratic Gary Gene Davis 24,789 15.4
Democratic Park Overall 24,263 15.1
Democratic Larry Crim 17,383 11.0
Democratic Benjamin Roberts 16,369 10.2
Democratic David Hancock 16,167 10.0
Democratic Thomas Owens 13,366 8.3
Total votes 160,331 100

General election[edit]


  • Bob Corker (Republican), incumbent U.S. Senator
  • Mark E. Clayton (Democratic)[7]
  • Shaun Crowell (Libertarian)
  • Martin Pleasant (Green)[8][9]
  • Kermit Steck (Constitution)[9][10]
  • David Gatchell (Independent)
  • James Higdon (Independent)
  • Michel Joseph Long (Independent)
  • Troy Stephen Scoggin (Independent)
  • Jacob Maurer (Write-In)[11]


A pre-primary U.S. Senate debate sponsored by a Bipartisan Committee was held in Paris, Tennessee to which all Republican and Democratic Candidates were invited. Larry Crim U.S. Senate Candidate

in the Democratic Party along with Republican Candidates except incumbent Bob Corker appeared, spoke and answered constitutional questions at the debate held in Paris, Tennessee


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Corker (R)
Clayton (D)
Other Undecided
Issues and Answers Network Inc. October 16–21, 2011 609 ± 4% 59% 21% 4% 15%


United States Senate election in Tennessee, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bob Corker (incumbent) 1,496,668 64.9%
Democratic Mark E. Clayton 700,753 30.4%
Green Martin Pleasant 37,964 1.6%
Libertarian Shaun Crowell 20,813 0.9%
Constitution Kermit Steck 18,490 0.8%
Independent James Higdon 8,036 0.3%
Independent Michael Joseph Long 8,043 0.3%
Independent Troy Stephen Scoggin 7,105 0.3%
Independent David Gatchell 6,469 0.3%
Majority 795,915 34.5%
Turnout 2,304,341

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates". George Mason University. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "2012’s worst candidate? With Mark Clayton, Tennessee Democrats hit bottom." by David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post, October 22, 2012, Retrieved 2012-10-23, "“If there are people who don’t believe that there’s a campaign here, then guess what? They can come to Tennessee, if they’re a voter, and they can see Mark E. Clayton, and next to Mark E. Clayton there’s going to be a ‘D,’ ” he said on the phone. “Like it or not, Mark Clayton is the Democratic nominee in Tennessee.”"
  3. ^ Murphy, Tim (August 3, 2012). "Dems Nominate Anti-Gay Conspiracy Theorist for Senate". Mother Jones. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Cass, Michael (August 3, 2012). "Tennessee Democratic Party disavows Senate nominee". The Tennessean. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sisk, Chas (August 17, 2012). "Mark Clayton victory in Democratic primary upheld by Nashville judge". The Tennessean. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Tennessee Secretary of State Unofficial Election Results". Secretary of State of Tennessee. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ Mark Clayton website
  8. ^ http://greenpartyoftennessee.org/candidates/
  9. ^ a b Winger, Richard (February 3, 2012). "Tennessee Ballot Access Law for New and Minor Parties Struck Down". Ballot Access News. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://constitutionpartyoftennessee.com/candidates/current-candidates/
  11. ^ http://www.jacobmaurertn.com

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites