By Julian Pecquet - 11/07/12 01:49 AM EST
With 16 percent of polls reporting, Corker was ahead of Mark Clayton 64 percent to 31 percent. Clayton, a part-time floor installer, has been nationally lampooned as 2012's “worst candidate” because he lacked a campaign headquarters and had raised just $278 by the end of last month.
Corker is seen as a moderate on foreign policy issues who has raised concerns about U.S. intervention in Syria championed by Republican hawks while refusing to endorse a number of international treaties the Obama administration has been pushing for. He hasn't built the same rapport with committee chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) that Lugar did over three decades, however, possibly auguring an era of decreased bipartisanship on the panel.