Researchers are increasingly confronting the need to examine the impacts of social media on democratic discourse. Analyzing 55,560 tweets from the official Twitter accounts of the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, we examine approaches used by political parties to encourage sharing of their content within the contemporary political divide. We show that tweets sent by the Republican Party are more likely to be predominant in the language of assessment and that tweets predominant in the language of assessment lead to more retweets. Further, this effect is reduced as political parties gain control of successive branches of government. This is because successive increases in political power create fewer impediments to the implementation of a party’s political agenda. As impediments to action are reduced, so is regulatory fit for assessment-oriented language. Goal pursuit language shared on Twitter therefore reveals distinct approaches to obtaining and dealing with power across the U.S. political system, and constitutes an important tool for public policy makers to use in successfully conducting policy debates.