'It's clear the campaign believes they landed on a message they think is working.' CNN's Eva McKend reports on why an award-winning novel about slavery is now an issue in the Virginia governor's race

 On Tuesday, CNN reporter Eva McKend appeared on "CNN Newsroom" to discuss the race, which has become a dead heat between McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, according to recent polling. 

CNN anchor Victor Blackwell asked McKend specifically on Youngkin’s focus on education as a major issue in his campaign. She acknowledged that education has become a focal point of the election but claimed that Youngkin’s attacks on McAuliffe are based on a comment of his that has "spun out of control."

"You know, Glenn Youngkin has landed on this closing argument that it is a fundamental right in Virginia of parents to be engaged in their children's education and that his opponent, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe doesn't believe that. Now, that is not the case. A comment McAuliffe made at a debate in September has sort of been spun out of control," McKend said.

During a debate in September, McAuliffe said he doesn't believe that parents should have the right to tell schools how to educate their children. McAuliffe has received blowback from Virginia parents, who have also voiced their concerns about schools implementing critical race theory curriculum.

"Here’s what McAuliffe actually said, he said he was not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision and that he didn't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach. Now, he has said he is running a Virginia focus campaign, Youngkin, that is, but has latched on to the national implications of this issue," McKend said.

President Biden similarly claimed that the education issue boiled down to Youngkin attempting to ban books from school libraries at a campaign event for McAuliffe on Tuesday.

"Just look how he's closing his campaign," Biden said. "He's gone from banning a woman's right to choose to banning books written by a Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison."

CNN host Chris Cuomo also accused Youngkin of wanting to ban books rather than arguing for parents’ rights to be involved their children’s education.

"You can dismiss the absurdity of this, right? What is this, like ‘Fahrenheit 451?’ No. This is modern day, and it is messaging that may work," Cuomo said.

A recent USA Today/Suffolk University show McAuliffe and Youngkin in a statistical tie.

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