The Sideshow

19% of New Jersey voters have tattoos, poll finds

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Sideshow

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Pauly D of MTV's "Jersey Shore" (MTV)

Nearly 20 percent of New Jersey's registered voters have at least one tattoo, a new poll conducted by Rutgers University ahead of the final season of MTV's "Jersey Shore" finds.

According to the Rutgers-Eagleton Institute poll, 19 percent of nearly 1,000 registered voters in the state said they have at least one tattoo. And 37 percent of so-called millennials born after 1980 are inked.

Of those without tattoos, just 8 percent plan to get one, the study found. And while 75 percent say their opinion of others is not affected by body art, nearly a quarter "say they think worse of people with tattoos."

The disdain for body art steadily increases with age:

30 percent of those 65 and older think worse of tattooed people, versus only 8 percent of millennials. Those with high levels of education and income also are more likely to negatively judge tattoos; college graduates (26 percent) and those with graduate work (27 percent) are about 10 points more likely to think worse of body art wearers. The tattooless in the highest income bracket (32 percent) are 12 to 13 points more likely to think this way than any other income level.

According to the poll, President Obama leads Mitt Romney among New Jersey's tattooed registered voters. Fourteen percent of Garden State voters who say they're voting for Romney have tattoos, compared to 22 percent for Obama.

[Related: Nokia issues patent for vibrating tattoos]

And despite the prevalence of tattoos on the MTV reality series, the pollsters concluded that most of the ink seen at the Jersey Shore itself is on visitors, not natives. Among shore residents, just 18 percent--marginally less than the overall figure--are inked.

"We suspect that a large share of the tattoos you see on beachgoers are on summer visitors," David Redlawsk, poll director and political science professor at Rutgers University, wrote in a blog post announcing the results. "'Jersey Shore' doesn't represent the real thing, Pauly D's tattoos notwithstanding."

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