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 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won the Democratic nomination with 30% of the vote, despite raising no money and having a website that was four years out of date. 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. 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 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.
^"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.”"