WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton's re-election effort raised more than $9 million in its first three months, the White House said Tuesday, giving Clinton a slight edge over his chief GOP rival during that period.

White House spokesman Mike McCurry said figures sent to the Federal Election Commission will show that the Clinton-Gore re-election effort raised more than $9.3 million in April, May and June _ or about $56,000 more than Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

``Go compare that with what some folks on the other side have raised,'' McCurry said.

While the fund-raising development offered the White House some encouraging news in a week that marks the beginning of congressional hearings into the Whitewater affair and the Waco tragedy, Clinton's promising early start guarantees nothing.

After all, George Bush _ who Clinton defeated in 1992 _ raised $9.9 million during the last three months of 1991, his first campaign reporting period.

Clinton also has an advantage that none of the Republicans do _ he's not facing a primary challenge.

According to the preliminary figures McCurry reviewed for reporters, the FEC records will show Clinton's campaign spent almost $3.3 million, mostly on a series of television spots highlighting Clinton's anti-crime credentials. That left the campaign with about $6.3 million cash.

The Clinton-Gore campaign has received more than 93,000 individual contributions, McCurry said, of which about 83,000 came from people responding to solicitation letters sent out this spring.

Meanwhile, Sen. Phil Gramm's report shows that the Texas Republican spent almost $1.2 million on direct-mail fund raising alone between April and June, a period that saw him spend $4.6 million.

Gramm raised less than that _ about $3.5 million _ during the three-month period. But neither that fact nor Dole's huge lead in opinion polls has Gramm's campaign worried.

``I guess we signaled pretty early on that Phil Gramm was going to build a grass-roots campaign, and that's what these spending numbers show,'' said campaign spokesman Gary Koops. ``I remain convinced that we're in as good a position to win this nomination next year as anyone else. We've got operations right now in 13 states, and we're organizing in 26 more.''

Besides the direct-mail effort, the Gramm campaign's other big-ticket items included more than $500,000 on telemarketing, $266,000 spent on consultants, $133,000 to furnish campaign offices, and almost $100,000 in research fees paid to numerous firms.