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go a long way toward

Have considerable effect or influence on. For example, This argument goes a long way toward proving the scientists are wrong, or, as Eudora Welty put it in The Ponder Heart (1954): “It went a long way toward making him touchy about what Uncle Daniel had gone and done.” This idiom, then put as go a great way toward, was first recorded in 1697.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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