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won the Democratic nomination with 30% of the vote, despite raising no money and having a website that was four years out of date.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 among the remaining candidates the party had affirmed as bona fide and as a preliminary motion sought a temporary restraining order against certification of the results, but after a judge denied the temporary order Crim withdrew his petition.
^"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.""