WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. minorities are shifting to the right, Conservative Political Action Conference organizers said Saturday, because conservatism has a new appeal.
CPAC officials said the 2005 conference demonstrates minorities are now more open to the U.S. conservative movement because of values, issues and taxes.
Ohio GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said the significant increase in support for Bush among blacks in the 2004 election was due in no small part to the president's support for traditional marriage.
Blackwell, one of nation's most prominent black elected officials of either party, said, "Values voters won Ohio and won the presidency for George W. Bush."
Minorities, CPAC spokesman Ian Walters said, "are more open than ever before to conservative ideas... because they are more accessible and applicable than what the Democrats and the traditional civil rights groups, with their reflexively liberal leadership have to offer."
CPAC does not collect ethnic or racial data from conference attendees, Walters said, but "just by looking around (the 2005 CPAC), you can see the number of minority delegates is much higher than in previous years."
In addition to Blackwell, other black leaders appearing at CPAC include New York GOP Secretary of State Randy Daniels and Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and an unsuccessful 2004 GOP candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia.