Balance - sound is too far to the right

I just set up a Shure M97ex and the sound is balanced way
too far to the right. Strangely, it also seems that I can
hear more scratches in the left channel. I have tried
quite a few records of different genres and they all have
this tendency.

What is the typical cause of this?

A likely cause is the anti-skating setting. However it could have something to do with the cartridge alignmnent also. Try experimenting with the anti-skating first, if you believe the alignment is correct.
TWL is correct in suspecting the anti-stating and also the cartridge alignment. You may want to check your connections, as well. Oxidation, broken wire strands and bad solder joints are usually a main culprit (in signal loss). If all else fails, try playing some old Clinton/Gore records.... that should balance it out :-)Good luck !