McCain in eight-way tie for most conservative senator

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been ranked as one of the most conservative senators, a surprising development for a politician who touted his independent reputation.

McCain tied for first place along with seven other Republican senators in the National Journal's ranking of the 10 most conservative senators.

Notably, his average rank between 2000 and 2007 was the 44th most conservative member of the Senate, according to National Journal, which compiles an annual ranking based on senators' voting records.

McCain tacked right in recent votes as he faced a tough primary challenge in the 2010 election cycle. But he wasn't the only senator who became more conservative in his votes -- a change that could be a reflection of the growing influence of the Tea Party movement.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Saxby Chambilss (R-Ga.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) all jumped from being in the top 20 to tying McCain for first place.

Also tied for first: Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and John Thune (R-S.D.). Below them are Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in ninth place and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in 10th.

Notably, among this year's list, four of the senators have either been linked to or shown a strong interest in running for president (or have outright run for president in the case of McCain). Earlier this week, Thune announced that he would not make a 2012 presidential bid; DeMint and Cornyn have also been subject to speculation on the subject.

In the House, there was a five-way tie for the most conservative representative this year: Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) were all tied for first. Four members of the Ohio delegation made the top 10 list in the House, more than any other state this year.

In general, members of the House were further to the right than in the Senate. The highest score in the Senate was 89.7, while the highest score in the House was 95.

See the rankings below:

Senate

1st. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) — 89.7
1st. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) — 89.7
1st. John Cornyn (R-Texas) — 89.7
1st. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) — 89.7
1st. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) — 89.7
1st. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — 89.7
1st. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) — 89.7
1st. John Thune (R-S.D.) — 89.7
9. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) — 87.3
10. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) — 86.8

House

1st. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) — 95.0
1st. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) — 95.0
1st. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — 95.0
1st. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) — 95.0
1st. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) — 95.0
6. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) — 94.5
7. Pete Olson (R-Texas) — 94.3
8. John Boehner (R-Ohio) — 94.2
9. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) — 94.0
10. John Culberson (R-Texas) — 93.8