Here's the real situation: It turns out MTV's "Jersey Shore" isn't killing New Jersey's reputation after all.
A new nationwide poll finds the reality show about a group of hard-drinking, foul-mouthed 20-somethings at a beach house in Seaside Heights may even be helping a bit by bringing attention to the real Jersey shore.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, released today, found no statistical difference between those who have seen the show and those who haven't.
It also found that the series is drawing attention to the state's 127 miles of beaches and generating positive buzz for the Garden State as a whole.
"The show isn't hurting the nation's view of the state," said Peter Woolley, director of the poll. "In fact, it may be promoting one of the state's best features — not Snooki, but the shore itself. It seems to me viewers are looking past The Situation to the shore scene itself."
The poll found that 43 percent of those who have seen the show have a favorable opinion of New Jersey, while 41 percent who've never seen it also think New Jersey is great.
Michelle Diaz of Philadelphia was strolling the Seaside Heights boardwalk Friday with two friends when they happened upon Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino during a break from that day's taping of the show.