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Terry McAuliffe saying that parents shouldn’t influence what schools teach was a major factor in the race for the governor of Virginia, which was won by Republican Glenn Youngkin, according to a new poll.

During a debate in September, McAuliffe, who served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018, said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

McAuliffe also said that he was “not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions.”

McAuliffe’s comments came in response to remarks by Youngkin, who argued that parents should have influence over what school districts teach their children.

While Youngkin won the race for Virginia’s governor, a new poll conducted by CreativeDirect found that McAuliffe’s statements about parents not telling schools what they should teach was a major factor in voters choices.

According to the poll, 54 percent of all voters said that McAuliffe’s statement was a big factor in their decision of who to vote for. Among voters deciding in the last month of the election, 64 percent said it was a factor, while 81 percent of voters deciding in the final week of voting agreed that it was a factor.

The poll also found that those who found McAuliffe’s statement to “very significant” eventually voted for Youngkin. According to the poll, 88 percent of Youngkin voters said the statement was “very significant,” 72 percent said it was a “small factor” and only 12 percent said it was “not a factor.”

The CreativeDirect poll surveyed 1,040 general election voters in Virginia from November 4 to November 5.

An exit poll conducted by Edison Research also asked voters about how much they think parents should influence schools and how they teach children. According to the poll, over 80 percent of voters said parents should have at least “some” influence, with 52 percent saying they think parents should have “a lot” of influence. Only 10 percent of voters said that parents should have “not much” influence, according to the poll.

According to the poll, among those who said that parents should have “a lot” of influence over what schools teach, 77 percent said they voted for Youngkin while only 22 percent sided with McAuliffe.

McAuliffe’s remarks during the debate were tied to a bill that he vetoed in 2016 and 2017 while serving as governor. The bill would have alerted parents of books that included sexually explicit materials.

Newsweek reached out to McAuliffe for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Terry McAuliffe saying that parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach was a major factor in the election for Virginia’s governor, according to a new poll. Above, McAuliffe speaks at his election night rally on November 2 in McLean, Virginia. Win McNamee/Getty