Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Tennessee Congressional Seats

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October 30, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Tennessee's Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
Yes 9 6

NASHVILLE: Tennessee: Tennessee has nine U.S. House seats up for election as well as one U.S. Senate seat in 2012. All 10 incumbents for the U.S. House and Senate are seeking re-election. Of the nine U.S. House seats, all have at least two candidates on the ballot, the 7th congressional district has the most candidates with a total of seven. The 5th and 9th are the only districts held by Democrats, with Republicans holding the remaining seven seats. Only the 6th district has no Democratic candidate. Tennessee, along with two other states, was considered the 19th most competitive congressional primaries in 2012, with 55.56% of major party primaries having been contested (10 out of 18).

In Tennessee, the polls open at 7 AM and all locations close at 7 PM local time.[1]

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012)

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Bob Corker is running for re-election and was first elected to the office in 2006. Corker faced four opponents in the primary, Democratic candidate Mark Clayton beat out seven other candidates to get the nomination. In addition to Clayton, seven other third party candidates are seeking the open Senate seat. Clayton has been openly criticized by the Democratic Party. He was the surprise nominee emerging from the election and is not expected to pose any threat to Corker's re-election bid.

State General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
Tennessee Class 1 Senate seat Democratic Party Mark Clayton
Republican Party Bob Corker
Libertarian Party Shaun Crowell
Green Party Martin Pleasant
Independent David Gatchell
Independent James Higdon
IndependentMichel Long
IndependentTroy Scoggin
IndependentKermit Steck
Bob Corker Pending Pending

U.S. House

None of the nine seats are expected to be competitive on election day. The only district with a less than 10 percentage point estimate difference according to Fairvote and Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index is the 5th district. Incumbent Jim Cooper (D) faces Brad Staats (R), with Cooper expected to win re-election despite being in a Republican-friendly district. Additionally, incumbent Scott DesJarlais (R) has come under scrutiny in the weeks leading up to the election, surrounding his ethics as a doctor and alleged affairs with patients.[2] However, DesJarlais is in a strong Republican district, one which John McCain won by 27 points in 2008.

Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Tennessee:

Members of the U.S. House from Tennessee -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 2 2
     Republican Party 7 7
Total 9 9
 Congressional Redistricting Map 

For more information, view Redistricting in Tennessee.


See also