turn the scale(s)

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turn the scale(s)

To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will turn the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has turned the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: turn
References in classic literature ?
To be unfortunate in any respect was sufficient, if there was no demerit to counterpoise it, to turn the scale of that good man's pity, and to engage his friendship and his benefaction.
His Highness, William, Prince of Orange, very likely afraid that Van Baerle's blood would turn the scale of judgment against him, had compassionately taken into consideration his good character, and the apparent proofs of his innocence.
Perhaps Charles Strickland's power and originality would scarcely have sufficed to turn the scale if the remarkable mythopoeic faculty of mankind had not brushed aside with impatience a story which disappointed all its craving for the extraordinary.
In the national government, if the Senate should be divided, no appointment could be made; in the government of New York, if the council should be divided, the governor can turn the scale, and confirm his own nomination.
Today I turn the scale at ten stone and am afraid to be alone in the dark.
For we cannot suppose that States are made of `oak and rock,' and not out of the human natures which are in them, and which in a figure turn the scale and draw other things after them?
Even the discovery that ovens were being put up on the premises, and that the shop was, in fact, being fitted up for a confectioner and pastry-cook's business, hitherto unknown in Grimworth, did not quite suffice to turn the scale in the newcomer's favour, though the landlady at the Woolpack defended him warmly, said he seemed to be a very clever young man, and from what she could make out, came of a very good family; indeed, was most likely a good many people's betters.
May not a more compact and advantageous position turn the scale on the same side, against a superior number so situated as to be less capable of a prompt and collected exertion of its strength?
This was the last drachm required to turn the scale of her indecision.
Yet the man has a vote, can possibly turn the scale of an election, and may help to decide the policy of this empire.
If my husband could only send his testimonials by the same post--with just a word in your name, Miss--it might turn the scale, as they say.
A good cause might turn the scale with me, for may not I too be of an exceptional brain, congenitally?
There's not a more paltry fellow in Middlemarch than Bowyer," said Ladislaw, indignantly, "but it seems as if the paltry fellows were always to turn the scale.
Indeed her invalidism at last helped to turn the scales in Browning's favor, for the physicians had declared that Miss Barrett's life depended on removal to a warmer climate, but to this her father, a well-intentioned but strangely selfish man, absolutely refused to consent.
There is no strong city within reach, whence we may draw fresh forces to turn the scales in our favour.